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Us 53, Washington 27, America 22, Bob Cusack 19, Boehner 18, John Boehner 18, United States 18, Arkansas 14, Ron Paul 14, U.s. 11, Texas 9, Kevin Mccarthy 8, Joe Walsh 8, Illinois 8, South Carolina 8, New York 7, Michigan 7, Harry Reid 6, Obama 5, George W. Bush 5,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Journalists and  
   policy-makers take viewer questions; newspaper articles.  

    July 29, 2011
    7:00 - 10:00am EDT  

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and we'll get the latest from capitol hill on raising the nation's debt ceiling before the august 2 deadline. congressman joe walsh of illinois and congressman mike ross of arkansas will join us for the discussion. captioned by the national captioning institute -- www.ncicap.org -- host: good morning. it's friday, july 29. two days left until the august 2 deadline. here on capitol hill, things all seem to be rather chaotic as you follow congress. you know that last night the speaker's debt ceiling bill was pulled off the floor because of a lack of votes. we learned that they would not be coming back last night. and, instead they're going to continue to tweak the legislation and hope to have a bill on the floor of the house
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of representatives. meanwhile, the senate and harry reid are strategizing about bringing their bill to the floor. we're going to learn about all of in this morning from the managing editor of "the hill." he'll be with us for our first hour as his reporters scour hill to try to understand the behind-the-scenes stories of the discussions over the debt limit. later on, two members of congress, joe walsh, the tea party republican heavily lobbied yesterday, and mike ross, democrat of arkansas, one of the blue dog conservative democrats who's announced he's not coming back to congress. we'll learn from him what his thinking is on the debt ceiling debate. as we begin this morning, your comments on the story of the day is lacking support on the boehner debt vote. we would like to hear what you think about all of this. our phone lines are open --
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begin this friday morning, we want to turn to the political blog. day left before default is their story this morning. what was originally described as a brief snafu has turned into a rebuke of house republican leaders who were unable on thursday to round up the minimum number of folks to pass speaker john boehner's bill. the bill was delayed at the last minute when he and his leadership team finally faced the harsh reality despite a swing of momentum in their direction over the previous 24 hours they didn't have the vote. and "the daily caller," after a long night in the capitol, the bill put off until friday this evening the u.s. capitol building was engulfed in a wave of summer time heat outside and political heat inside.
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in the proceeding hours after the 10:30 call that there would be no vote that night, as things were tense as boehner and kevin mccarthy, responsible for counting the votes, tried desperately to have the count in their favor. as i mentioned, the editor of "the capitol hill" will be with us. bob, your reporters were able to put together some of the pieces. what can you tell us? >> i think, susan, yesterday was probably the most dramatic day in the house since the health care vote in 2010. the push was on for the votes. it's tough reporting because you've got to figure out whether they have the votes and, of course, throughout the day house republican leaders expressed confidence. but any house majority, whether it's democratic or republican, will always express with confidence when it's a tight vote. so we're trying to figure out do have the votes?
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on our website, we were compiling members that were no, republican members no, undecided, leaning no, leaning yes. and they could only afford 23 defections if all democrats vote no as they are expected to do. they right now have 25. most of them firm nos and a couple lean nos. then you have nearly three dozen undecided members. and a lot of them told us they were still undecided yesterday. so house republican leaders, they weren't really close to getting it. i think if they were one or two votes away, there was some last night that they were only one or two votes away, they would have brought it to the floor. they have some serious work to do. the next step is unclear at this moment. >> beginning to suggest that the senate might take up legislation and have that be a vehicle that goes to the house. the rule in the constitution that money bills should be merging from the house of representatives, how could that work structurally? >> that is true that the tax revenue bills technically should
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start in the house. but what we've seen in congress is that there are ways around that. you can take a bill and replace it. you can take a house bill that's not even related, make it a shelved bill. the senate can amend it and send it back. where there's a will there's a way in congress. it's just getting the will on both sides of the aisle this development yesterday, as far as the house republicans pulling this bill, not voting on it. we'll see if there's a vote today. there will be a vote last night. leverage. john boehner has lost some serious leverage unless he can pass this bill. a defining moment in his speakership, house republican leader just frustrated with their members. eric captainer earlier this -- eric kanner earlier this week told his colleagues to stop whining about the boehner bill. they didn't unify around it, though. it's going to be fascinating to see how they seek to change it in the coming hours. >> joining us from inside one of
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the house of representatives office buildings. it's just 7:05 on the east coast, and there's still going to be lots of activity behind him. we thought having him there this morning would give you some of the sense and flavor and temperature on capitol hill. we'd like to know what your reaction is to yesterday. we'll learn more about the behind the scenes and the sticking points and what all of this means for you the taxpayer, for the capital financial markets throughout this hour. let's begin with the telephone calls from hernando, mississippi. good morning, larry. caller: good morning. the government cannot control the tea party. and bush, his two wars, and medicare, the tea party -- ran up $5 trillion in debt and obama spent $1.2 trillion trying to mess, and they want to blame everything on him.
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cannot control the tea party. these people will destroy the country. there's no doubt about it. host: next is a comment from a caller in royal oak, michigan. good morning, eugene. turn down your tv volume. go ahead. sorry. we're going to move on. if you're calm calling in this morning, be ready with that mute button. arkansas. eddie, an independent. caller: hi, susan. i understand you're going to have joe walsh on later. he's one of the tea bag nuts. he's lecturing the country to pay their debts and do the right thing and he's being sued by his ex-wife for over $100,000 for nonpayment in child support. host: thank you very much. reading on his own website that essaying it's a seven-year-old story that he thinks is being brought up for political purposes right now. we'll talk to the congressman as we learn his position on why he is so far a
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no on what he's heard with the legislation. he'll be on one hour from now. next is mccray, arkansas. barry is a democrat. go ahead, please. caller: yes. i want to know what gives the right for the united states government to mess with the that we paid in as taxpayers to social security, medicaid, and medicare, and all do is giveo themselves raises. but the people that depend on what they paid in, and everything, they give big tax breaks for the oil companies. the big manufacturers. they're taking jobs away from us. and why they think it is best to do that. i need an answer to that, because i work 40 years of my
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life, and now i'm disabled. and now they're talking about cutting everything. i just don't think -- i've even put my life on the line for this country, vietnam. why they think it's the right thing to do. host: thanks for your call. next up, a comment from hewitt, texas. tony, a republican there. good morning. caller: good morning. how's everybody there this morning? host: it's a little hot both temperature-wise and internally i think here. caller: yeah. you know, we deal with a few facts here this morning. that cut, cap and balance that was passed did two things that everybody just is totally bent out of shape about. one of which is that it would raise the debt ceiling, and we would give that community organizer everything he wanted. it also, at the time, would say
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that the united states would even have a downgrade in its debt rating. and what do we do? well, you got the president that has no plan. got harry reid out there. and what does he do with that bill that will allow all of that to happen? he tables it. now, what damn fool is going to negotiate with a president that has lied from the jump? you look at obama care. he said you can keep your policy if you want it. well, on page 15, it clearly stated the opposite. not going to cover abortion. well, that happened. and we're not going to cover illegals. that's all he said to the joint congress there. and old good old joe wilson pointed out his lie. host: tony, there's a lot of people waiting, so we need to wrap up here.
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your point? the mainstream press is blaming all of this on the republicans, and all you guys do look as to who's sitting in the white house and who's over there in the senate. you, sir.k next unity, maine. that's an interesting title of a town. would you like to send a little unity to washington? what are you thinking about all of this? caller: well, i'm thinking that the only way that this is going to be resolved, it's going to be over the years that the american people vote out of the house and congress. everyone who's stalemate in this whole situation. i think it's time for a big change. host: what direction are you suggesting the change to be? where are you on all of this the u.s. debt?t >> i believe that the republicans, if they put as much effort into helping obama as they are just trying to get rid of him, i think this would be resolved by now.
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but they're just stalemating the whole thing. host: thank you for your call from unity, maine. there's a number of pieces this morning that tell you what life is like for those undecided members. here's one. the votes weren't there. along with more than a dozen other lawmakers talked in a room in the capitol for more than three hours. at the end of that, it was still a no. brooks could not be reached for comment. close to 10:30 p.m. party leaders agreed to withdraw their bill and make unspecified changes in the hopes of bringing in more votes. they suggest in the paper after a 9:30 meeting in the house of republicans. and "new york times," inside of the capitol yesterday, in the waning hours of the bill, appeared to turn against the speaker. some key lawmakers, a member of the leadership team, said he
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would join the other freshmen in his state and wrote knox and they say in a parallel reverse -- on twitter -- freedom works began to send messages pressuring members urging people at home to call members and tell them to vote. no and former governor sarah palin also got in the game posting a warning about contested primaries on facebook. let's go back to bob cusack on capitol hill and talk about the pressure on these undecided members both from other members of their conference and from constituents group outside. guest: it's just enormous as far as republican leaders trying to get members from no to yes, and how you do it with different members, or different method yolings. -- method ologies. it's a very different house. in the last congress and the previous congresses with speaker hastert, tom delay, very much top down where the orders came
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from the top and members by and large settled in line this situation very different. a huge freshman class of 87 members. enormous pressure on these. and you can see it on the members last night as they were coming out of the speaker's suite, trying to make the case -- leaders were trying to get them to say yes, that, listen, if you don't vote yes, what's going to end up on obama's desk is going to be a watered down, more democratic bill. but that argument just wasn't resonating. and it was frustrating house republican leaders to no end. and as far as the tea party and primaries, that is a huge factor up here. i was talking to a member last night, and that is what people are thinking. that if they vote yes, they are going to be inviting a primary. and not just for freshmen. other members concerned about that as well. bob cusack, let's look at some tactics of policy. you reported and many papers are picking up that one sticking point was over pell grants which are student loans for college students. tell us more about what you're
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finding is at the heart of the disagreement. >> that's only one of them. it was indicated that that's not a big issue for him, that the program whether they change that or pair back or take it out, he's still going to be a no. andy harris, republican from maryland, freshman member, was quoted as having in one of our stories a problem with those provisions. now, if you get maybe three or four votes, you generate some momentum by changing it that's what house republican leaders were asking them. how can we get you to yes. what do you want changed? and a lot of the members just say, hey, we've already passed our bill. that was a cup, cat -- cut, cap and balance bill. john boehner made the decision that he was going to move forward with a more centrist bill. he says adheres to the cut, cap and balance. and the members were saying, no, it doesn't adhere to that. and freedom works was playing a
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huge role in that where they're saying absolutely it violates the cut, cap, and balance pledge that a lot of members signed earlier this year. host: let's take a look at a few facebook comments. you can join the conversation on facebook at facebook/com/c-span. here is the comment from elizabeth tyranny who writes -- host: back to phone calls. next is ohio. brian is a democrat there. good morning, brian. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: great, sir. thanks. caller: i just have three simple solutions that we could have or do that wouldn't have to raise the debt ceiling.
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one is the iraq and afghanistan war, it's george bush's war. i think what we need to do is go after george bush, dick cheney, and donald rumsfeld and let them pay for their wars that they got us into. the second thing is that we need to stop sending our money overseas and start helping our own people. the third thing is that all of these senators and congressmen that are making making $170,000 a year and making these poor choices, if they would be making $40,000, $50,000 a year, every one of their dumb decisions that they make wouldn't only affect us but it would affect them. host: thank you for your call. next up is royal oak, michigan. this is eugene a republican. good morning. caller: yes. i am calling in regards -- i'm very disappointed in boehner. i was going to send him some money, but now i'm not. i gave allen west some money,
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and i'm getting disappointed in him for him caving. i can't understand why the mainstream press insists on sending the republicans -- saying the republicans are at fault all the time when they try to do something. host: thanks for the call. this debt plan, bob cusack, tied to the speaker. you mentioned earlier the test for his speakership. i have a number of article that suggest his speakership is object the line -- on the line with this. comment more about what you're hearing from members about that? guest: yes, yesterday was the biggest day in john boehner's speakership. he's put this bill on the line, his speakership on the line. he was going to members and saying i need you on this. this is a key -- it quickly has become a referendum on boehner. though some say it's not because they have a disagreement on policy. but it's certainly being viewed that way. if this bill can't pass the house, we know that the senate
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is lykely going to table this, that the votes are not there for this bill in the senate. but politically, if the speaker can't pass this house, that will handicap his speakership, many say, for the remainder of the congress. now, if he can somehow pull this bill back, modify it and pass it, it would be a big development and a huge win for speaker boehner. but right now it doesn't look has the votes. i don't know if they can change it to get these votes, because a lot of those 25 no/firm no votes -- they can't be subwayed. you can't convince ron paul, michelle bachmann. host: those unlisted, the 33 would put them over the top, if they could get the majority of those? guest: that's the challenge now. they have to make changes. not only do they have to convince at least two who are no votes right now to go to yeses,
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they've got to get all of those undecideds to yes. it is a huge, huge task. host: and in the process not losing any of the yeses they already have. guest: exactly right. so an enormous challenge for the whip team led by kevin mccarthy. i don't know how they get there. throughout the day yesterday at times they picked up momentum. but then a big development, as you mentioned, was tim scott on fox news saying that he was the no, along with other south carolina republicans. i tell you, there's some frustration from house republicans with senator demint and senator lindsey graham because they came out against this bill. and a lot of the house republicans from south carolina, including tim scott, have followed their lead. a huge influence from demint and graham, and house republicans have said they have made their job a lot tougher. host: i'm going to ask the audience to bare with me. i'm not going to do it all at once. but i want to go through the 33 republicans who are undecided,
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who this debate really hinges on. let me go through them in groups. this is the hill's list, undecided, still reviewing, or unclear. joe barton, long-term member of texas, dennis of michigan, is says the speaker made the case to brooks personally. dan burton, indiana. quico canseco of texas. chip crayaack of minnesota. john dunn can of tennessee, trent franks of arizona. scott desjarlais of tennessee. morgan griffith of virginia. jamie herrera beutler of washington, randy hullgren of illinois. there and go back to our callers. caller: i would just like to say that this is just sickening watching all of this. there has to be independence out
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there that are not going to be to either party or to any kind of politics. let's face it. this is just political posturing for the 2012 elections. that's all it is. it's cut-and-dried. as a veteran of the united states of america for 21 years it sickens me. and i hate to say this, but watching these guys and ladies and gentlemen debate over this just makes me unproud to be an american that we can't get something done. it just amazes me. but like i said, the bottom line is this is all political posturing for 2012 and the future. and i would love to see some independents come in -- i was a democrat for a long time. i saw on the blue dog side, your second speaker coming up, the congressman -- i was a blue dog democrat. the party wouldn't want to do this. they didn't want to do that. so please, america, contact your representatives and tell them to quit playing politics, and let's get something done.
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thank you. host: thank you. curtis from georgia. next up is marie, a republican from mississippi. good morning. caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. host: sure thing. totally agree with the gentleman that just phoned. i believe the only way that this ever going to be rectified is if we implement term limits in congress that way they can go up there and do their job. they won't even have to give a thought about whether they're going to be re-elected or not. and also i would like to say that our tax system needs to be revamped to where everybody in the united states of america pays some tax. and that would cut out all the loopholes from the rich that we keep hearing about from the democrats. and i would also like to say it would be interesting if you would take a survey of the callers to see who -- or which ones actually have been in the
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game that would be interesting. i think the democrats would follow obama like the pied piper into the sea no matter what he wanted to do to this country. thank you. host: thanks very much. to get a perspective on this from outside washington, the financial markets, we've got peter coy to join us. he wrote the cover story for "bloomberg business week." here's the cover headline on his piece, "why the debt crisis is even worse than you think." we'll get to that in a second. but, peter, tell us how the financial markets, both the credit markets and also the bond markets, are reacting to the debate in washington. guest: i think it's surprising that they're reacting as mildly as they have. if i were a major bond holder and i knew that my bonds were in danger of being repaid, i think i would be even more scared than i am now. so it's a little bit of a
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marvel. and even some people, you know, in the government are pleasantly surprised by this. i think there's just a biding belief that when it really comes down to the wire, this deal will get done. i hope they're right about that. host: here's an example. "the wall street journal" has a story of a -- let me see, a firm that holds treasury bills that mature august 4. the first to mature after the august 2 deadline them write until a few days ago a scenario seemed farfetched, but if gridlock continues in washington many in the market have been scrambling to figure out which debt would be in danger of most defaulting. many look to the bill by mr. travis and others as the top candidate. so those are the unlucky folks who picked the august 4 tea bills way back when. so let me ask you about how this could play out if no deal is reached for corporations.
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i'm reading a number of stories about how federal level debt is downgraded. it will affect states and municipalities. how will that happen? guest: well, when interest rates rise for federal debt -- and they would rise for federal debt obviously because of the risk of nonpayment. almost all other industries in the economy are tied to the federal treasuries. they call it the spread. so your california bonds are stated as not just their -- spread versus treasury. just because in practice they tend to move up and down together. the treasury called the risk-free rate. so it will be affected not so by the risk of default ordinarily but just by interest rate moves. what i mean by interest rate moves is the health of the economy, the prospect for and so on. so rather than try to dope it out individually for each security, you just say, well, the treasury represents the risk
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of inflation not the risk of default. the others all have a default component to it. now suddenly you throw in the risk of default and treasuries and it messes up all of those formulas in general it makes people more nervous about holding any kind of fixed income though. host: so the same spillover effect to the private capital markets? >> there would be some spillover to the private capital markets. because this is unprecedented, we can only speculate about the impact. but i would say the more direct effect would be on raising borrowing costs for the federal government because people no longer would be able to trust it the same way. but there's also a way in which treasury bonds function almost like a raw material of deals on wall street. they're a special kind of instrument that can be used as a
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form of collateral, right? for borrowing money. you borrow money overnight or for longer periods of time. a crucial way that the financial world gets its short-term funding is by lending out treasuries if that becomes messed up because people suddenly don't want to advise them on the old terms, it's going to cause great confusion. >> let me turn from that to the thesis of your cover story. why the debt crisis is even worse than you think. it's accompanied by this chart, on the screen, which is is debt deluge. you show what it's talking about and what everyone should be talking about, the fiscal gap. this all about? guest: the fiscal gap is a different way of measuring our problems. everyone focuses on the national debt which, of course is important to focus on. but the national debt is backward looking. it tells you what obligations os
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are already accumulated. what it doesn't tell you fully is the debt to come or the obligation that we are incurring now based on the way we've created formulas for social security, medicare and medicaid. and if you look at those and you go out into the indefinite future to make sure there's not some kind of problem in the distant horizon, you find that the gap between everything we expect to receive, tax revenue, and everything we expect to spend is $211 trillion stated in today's dollars. host: so what does washington do with that? guest: well, what you do is what people have been talking about doing. you've got to tackle the entitlements because that's by far the bulk of the problem. titlements, of course, being social security and medicare. you also have to tackle medicaid. you have to deal with the
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outlying years. you have to create formulas that will be sustainable. and you have to figure out how to do something about health care costs which are rising at a rate that is unsustainable, presumably by changing the incentives. you know, this has been said a lot on c-span and elsewhere. but it's not just talk. it's like looking at the long-term future, say if that doesn't happen, things just kind of blow up. even $212 trillion wouldn't be enough. host: one thing to note, as you're saying social security is part of the solution, in this illustration you have here social security -- one side is revenue -- it shows social security in a surplus. right? in receipts, $132 trillion versus $110 trillion. aim correct?
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guest: yeah. host: so people might argue it's really solvent for now, why should that be part of the discussion? guest: that's a good point. the it is numbers -- the trust funds for social security is not the crucial issue. that's why people say medicare is where the bigger problem is. but social security is probably going to have to have a higher retirement age. but, you know, funny thing. i think that that's a good point you're making there. i'm going to go back and look at that more closely for next week's story. host: well, thank you very much for outlining the concerns of the financial market which you say right now are more mooted than you -- muted than you expected and for giving us background on your cover story.
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washington continues to find a solution for the current debt ceiling. peter coy from "bloomberg business week." thank you for your time. guest: thank you. host: back to our telephone calls. vero beach, florida, tom is an independent there. caller: thank you for taking my call. bob could answer this question for me. why won't they ever answer the question, the money this country to other countries, why won't they talk about cutting that? host: bob cusack? guest: certainly that's more of an issue than it has been in the past. a lot of lawmakers are for scaling back foreign aid. most notably ron paul, who is running for president again. the percentages of foreign aid that goes abroad is, as politicians say, smaller than you would think. i don't know the exact number. but polls have shown it's nearly 25% of the budget. it's far less than that. but there is a move to cut some of that funding. most interestingly enough on
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pakistan, because of the tension in u.s.-pakistani relations in the wake of the death of osama bin laden so that has been on the table. but as far as a percentage of what goes out, it's relatively small. the interesting thing, though, here, is that there is -- have put tax increases on the table. they've put some defense spending on the table. you didn't see that years ago, that they were willing to cut defense. so that's significant. but foreign aid is something that has been discussed of pairing back. host: "the daily caller" has a story about ron paul, as our caller and also -- ron paul calls on supporters to lobby leadership for no compromise. ron paul blasted top house republicans for lack of called on supporters to pressure top g.o.p. officials not to cut a back room deal with president obama. in an e-mail sent thursday
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evening to supporters of his presidential bid he couraged backers to help republican leaders make up their mind. the republican leadership is us is exceptible -- susceptible to our pressures. i need help to show some backbone and say no to any business is usual status quo to raise the debt ceiling. that's ron paul today. a few e-mails from viewers. host: next phone call from detroit. joseph, republican. good morning. caller: thank you. the first thing i'm shocked about is the only place they can
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kind places for reduction of expenses is the social security. the whole budget has to have millions of things in there for cutting back costs and they keep picking on social security. that's -- i have no idea, trying to figure that out that just aggravates me. and then the other thing is, nobody seems to talk about costs. that tuition costs go up, food costs go up. nobody seems to say we got to stop that and reduce the costs. costs for my medicare, if it didn't go up, i wouldn't have to worry about the costs of my medical expenses. i wouldn't have to worry about my costs going you up in medicare. but nobody seems to look at the costs. i got bills that were $3,800 for a head c.t. exam. $3,800 for a c.t. exam that took 10 minutes? i can't believe that's what we're spending our money on. i'm upset about the way the government is going on. and i really do not think the republicans should cancel what they're doing. they should stick to their guns. host: thank you. next up, celine, a democrat from
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ohio. what's your point of view? caller: good morning. just give me a minute. first of all -- ok, first of all -- i mean, the republicans that we have in right now, in the past, no matter what, it seems like we always work together no matter what. and this would have never happened like this, what's going on right now. and i don't believe no matter what the speaker comes up with, any ideas, not just this, but the tea party will never agree with anything that he comes up with. i don't understand why they are not worried about no revenue coming in. that's something that we need. also, i need to ask the i want his comment on this.
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ok. i was listening to the news business around the world. and a lot of these countries are really angry. i mean -- and if we think right now that it's -- nothing's going to really happen, everybody's going to agree, and it's all going to turn out fine, from the way they talk it's not going to be that way. and they also talk like america has already slowed down to a a.a.a. rating. like i said, i just wish they could get together. but i don't think it's going to happen. host: thank you. let's go with that point. bob cusack, what do you have for celine? guest: always anger towards the united states. there has been for decades. republicans note that that anger has not subsided now that george w. bush is out of office and president obama -- if you look
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at polls in pakistan, other countries, a lot of of disrust of the u.s. she also mentioned the a.a.a. rating. that's the big deal here. because one way or another congress is going to get something to president obama's desk. but the possibility of a downgrade is very significant. and that's what people say. will a bill not only raise the debt ceiling and avoid any of default, but will it avoid a downgrade from the federal rating agencies? i talked to a couple of people, investment types who closely track this thing. they say they don't know how the u.s. can't be downgraded. so that's going to be something to watch. the rating agents have enormous power. treasury department officials have been lobbying them only a range of issues, but specifically on this one. most recently saying don't downgrade that could also set off even more panic up here on
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capitol hill. host: i want to show you the whip notice. that's kevin mccarthy for the republicans. last night at 10:30 he put this notice out. members were advised there would be no more votes. but here's the phrase. any expected absences tomorrow and this weekend should be reported to the whip's office. that suggests, bob cusack, how every vote will count if they get it to the floor today. guest: that's right. we were trying also to attach if anyone was going to miss the vote other than obviously gabry yell giverred -- gabrielle giffords who is still recovering. still, the magic number is 216 if all the members except for those two are around. it's interesting for kevin mccarthy. he is the whip. he also recruited most of the freshmen that are here now. so he has relationships with these freshmen. but some of them are just firm
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nos. they're not going going along we argue friewment mccarthy -- argument from mccarthy. it's not only freshmen. it's some members who have been around a long time, such as ron paul and others. host: one twitter comment. he writes, government owes funds that were borrowed. worthless i.o.u.'s in the place of the people's donations. they're trying to get out of paying them. and to e-mail comments. this is a good example of how chaos emerges from the smallest places. it is a real side of the fracturing and destruction of the republican party which will be an ongoing but subtle process moving forward. the reasons for this are too complex for this forum, but in short it is the result of checks and balances in the system that are not normally visible. and this very brief e-mail, anonymous.
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tough, i think our leaders are adibblinged to stupidity -- adigitted to stupidity. and this from this morning's new york daily news. voter approval of congress falls to a new low. just 6% believe elected officials are doing a good job. let's look. there's the 6%. 31% say their rep is the best for the job. 61% say congress is doing a bad job. 85% of those polled say members are most interested in their own career. and 46% of voters believe most of congress is corrupt. bob cusack, what do you think of these numbers? guest: those numbers are especially low. congressional ratings are always low. but those have to be a concern for any incumbent in congress. there's so much frustration right now. congress has the spotlight. congress has been the story this year and on this debt limit. and john boehner and mitch
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mcconnell have been trying to make the white house look less relevant. that's why john boehner earlier this week said we're going to walk away from the white house, get a deal in the congress seaned and send it pot president. he's had trouble on that it raises the possibility of primaries. remember, this is on both levels. there are democrats on capitol hill very frustrated with president obama that he put entitlement spending on the table, that he was willing to raise and is willing to raise the he will joint age for -- eligibility age for medicare over a long period of time. that has stunned democrats. there's also a possibility of primaries on the leave. when you have those low congressional approval ratings, there's going to be challenges on both sides of the aisle. host: the "daily news" has that poll. let me show you their cover. host: back to your telephone calls. robert, republican.
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good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? it's nice to talk with you. bin laden says the way to destroy america is economically. obama's spending in the last three years, trillions each year, would make him very happy. the debt limit is a very fine balanced budget amendment in itself. i could live with cut, cap and balance. we must not let bin laden or obama destroy america economically. thank you. host: thank you for your call, sir. next up, a tweet. boehner's downfall is his refusal to work with dems and trying to refuse a tea party who wants no part of him. next phone call, gary, an independent from new york. good morning. caller: good morning. i'd like to make a comment and then a question to the guy there.
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host: sure. caller: i'd like to find out -- [indiscernible] people work their butts off all these years. it's handout money. mostly like a family tradition, you know? when kids grow up -- when parents have babies, their kids wind up on welfare, too. and i'd like to find out when the checks are going out. welfare gets their raises. that's all i have to say. host: bob cusack? guest: there's a lot of frustration on both the left and right. that's what's pulling, this huge tug of war that congress is going through, like callers like that. some on the right say we go need to pair back all of these entitlements. we can't afford them. others on the left, liberals, democrats, they say, listen, if you look at social security, social security is not a deficit
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problem. we don't need to change that. we can make some modifications, for waste, fraud and abuse, but that's where it is. you have the moveon. and on one side. and then groups like freedom works on the other side. as far as in the middle -- and that's where this bill will have to be passed, by democrats and republicans in the middle. simpler to the tarp bailout bill in 2008 where the middle came together after, of course, the initial bill failed on the house floor and it got through. it's a painful process. and that vote, because it was so politically painful for members, still having ramifications and being felt in this debate. host: let me take a little pause here for a related voice in this process. this weekend depending on the senate's schedule we're going to be having a special focus on "book tv" and also on "american history" on c-span3 on the city
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of charleston, south carolina. we're touring eight southern u.s. cities this fall and learning more about their history, and also about their literary life and authors. charleston the featured city this weekend. while we were there just a few weeks ago, we interviewed former senator fritz hollings. senator hollings, as you know, a generation back, was part of another big debate over federal spending. and out of that came the graham-hollings legislation. we talked to him on camera. here's just a clip of his comments on washington today. >> nothing gets done. the atmosphere is the game. the game is re-election. you've got to get the money for re-election. in other words in 1998, 12 years ago, i had to spend -- i had to raise, excuse me, $8.5 million. now, $8.5 million is $30,000
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every week, each week for six years. it's not just raising money the year ahead. it's raising it for all six years. and you're raising it not only for yourself because your colleagues will help you, the committees will want to keep that seat. so when your time is up. so you are always out there raising money. and the name of the game is make no mistake, play the fence when you get back to washington. got no idea of paying the bill. they haven't paid the bill for 10 years. host: fritz hollings will be 90 later this year. expressing his frustration. he's part of the many voices we will include in our "charleston weekend" on "book tv" and "american history tv." a story in the "wall street journal" this morning. campaign funds still flowing. the federal government may be strapped for cash. congressmen are hosting hundreds of fund raising events in the
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weeks surrounding the deficit fight including some tied specifically to the battle over the debt ceiling as their continued rangling pushes the world to possibly fall on its debt next week. bob cusack, your reporters have been watching that. what are you finding out? guest: the fundraisers are continuing to go on. whenever there is a controversy or big bill, there's someone in washington thinking, how can i raise money off of that? we've seen it this week. we've seen e-mails from republicans and democrats trying to raise cash for their campaign committee. it's a never-ending process. we're obviously in the odd year, the election year. but key is how much money you raise. if you don't raise a lot of money, then media outlets, including ours, will question your viability. you need a lot of money to go on the air. so it's that difficulty where they have to legislate but they also have to raise money. they need money for their campaign ads. it's a very difficult thing. it is very frustrating.
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former senator hollings was expressing frustration. members do, too. of them really don't like calling people and asking for money. but they have to do it if they in congress. host: back to facebook comments. you can join the conversation there. host: next a call from south lake tahoe. greg is watching us out there republican. good morning.
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caller: good morning. i would like to say i am a fiscal and social conservative. it occurs to me that this current crisis is a condition of both parties over multiple administrations. and it's not a democratic republican tea party or independent problem. it's an american problem that we must pull the cart forward together with. i think it's a condition of two factors. i think it's obvious that we have out of control spending that needs to be brought under control. but it also occurs to me that there must be some additional revenue strain. and the notion that somehow taxing at some level, even a minimal level, people at the income that is going to cause them to not participate in the capital formula of this country is just not commensurate with my background and knowledge on these matters. the last thing i'd like to say is that in my opinion relative
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to the job issue, if we could simplify our corporate tax code and lower it so that it would be more conducive to bringing almost a trillion dollars in capital from overseas back into this country it would stimulate the economy, create an environment where we could create more jobs, and create the america that we want moving forward for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. and i think that this is an issue that's incumbent upon this administration that needs to come and engage speaker boehner who seems to be extremely genuine, in my opinion, relative to what he's attempting to do. host: ok. let me turn back to bob cusack. greg is advocating revisiting the tax code. at some point that was an aspect of the major plans that were being put forward. so you know whether or not that
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continues to be? guest: not at the moment. no there are a lot of plan c and plan d. but the grand bargain of a huge have triggers that would potentially trigger tax increases if a huge deal isn't done down the road is really off the table for the moment. so i don't think you're going to see possible tax increases. the polls have shown that the public does favor tax increases for the wealthy. obviously some republicans and most republican leaders, republican leaders up here, do not support that. they say it would be devastating for the economy. a lot of members on both sides aisle are saying we need to focus on jobs. democrats in particular have put the white house on notice that deal you strike it better create jobs or we're not going to vote for it. i think you're going see a lot of democrats when the deal is done see a surprising amount of no.crats vote host: and this is a piece in the "the washington post" this morning about the c.b.o. who
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c-span viewers know the reference to it. and the headline, c.b.o. packs an authoritative punch. tuesday afternoon the c.b.o. scoring of speaker boehner's plan changed the outcome. on tuesday afternoon when the congressional budget office announced that house speaker john boehner's proposal for raising the debt ceiling would have saved significantly less than promised, the republicans' response was instantaneous. they backed down. it continues about how the c.b.o. works and when it was created, which was 1974, by a congressional budget act. roanoke, virginia. good morning to rosemary watching us there on the independent line. you're on the air. caller: yes. the first thing i want to say is i think it's a disgrace to even consider not paying our veterans. the second thing i want to say
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is i sat down and did a little figure, multiplied the number of representatives by 10,000, and i come up with $4,330,000. that's the ones active anyway, now. the one that are out i guess are not really affecting this. you know. that's a little bit in the budget. instead of picking -- and, the third idea i had was that if they want to give tax cuts, give them to people that keep the jobs in the market. decrease the tax cuts on the ones that's sending them overseas. host: rosemary with her ideas on how to address the debt problems. question of who gets paid first, itemizing the bill collectors. unless there's an agreement, government will have an
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estimated $306 billion due in bills in august but only $172 billion in revenue to cover the costs. that means about 44% of the government's bills would go unpaid. and you can see they have a chart of the bills that will come due, the largest is medicare and medicaid, $50 billion. social security at $49.2 billion. defense contractor payments, $31 billion. interest on treasury securities, $29 billion. department of education, $20 billion. federal salaries and benefits, $14.2 billion. unemployment insurance, $12.8 billion and the list continues. waterford, new jersey. democrat there. good morning to you. caller: good morning, susan. how are you today? host: good. thank you. caller: great. two quick comments. my total disgust at the ignorance of not only so much of the american voters but also the news media that fosters the ignorance. you had a caller on a minute ago talking about tax breaks for
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companies bringing jobs and income in the country versus shipping them out. in the last year of the democratic controls, house and senate, before the mid-terms, the democrats put a bill up in the house to end the tax give away that allows american corporations like g.e. to have millions and tens of millions of dollars in profit and yet on their tax return they paid zero in federal income taxes. ok? because the proposal to end that kind of nonsense was by the republicans. it goes on and on and on. the republicans are not doing anybody any favors. one more comment is they beat the democrats in that mid-term campaigning -- yeah. like a red-headed stepchild, over jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. every ad, every microphone,
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every spot they got it was we're going to create jobs. it took them about a week to change the subject from they're going to fix the economy and get people back to work to deficit and debt. they've changed the subject. no one seems to have noticed. the democrats have gone along with it. and where is the outreach that this party wanted to solve all of these job problems for us and after about a week in office they stopped talking about jobs? no one seems to have noticed. host: all right. thanks for your call. a woman writes on twitter, the wealthy are not the best and brightest, they are only the most money. they are not owed business subsidies or tax breaks. the gig is up. and back to the list of the 33 undecided, still reviewing, unclear. we read half of it to you. let's pick it up from there. doug lamborn, tom mcclintock, california. tom marino, pennsylvania. jeff miller, florida.
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devin nunes, california, erik paulsen, ted poe, ben quail, denny rehberg. a couple more names. tim walberg of michigan. kevin yoder of kansas. and don young of alaska. those are the hill's list of 33 undecided republican members of the house. let me return to you for our last comment. we have just a couple of minutes left here, bob cusack what do we know for sure is happening today? guest: well, i went to the house rules committee last night and the chairman admitted he didn't have a lot of answers. theyif they passed a rule last t that would allow a bill to be changed and immediately addressed. house republicans passed a rule that a bill could be -- would sit for a certain amount of time, 48, 72 hours, and so the public could read it. but in this situation they're going to have to make changes in to get votes so they pass that. where do they go from here? the house republican conference meeting is at 10:00 a.m.
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that's where they're going to decide what to do. that's going to be a very con tenuous -- contentious meeting. it's also a strategy meeting. where do they go from sneer what do they change? i think it's rallying the troops. but they've been trying to rally the troops all week. last sunday john boehner said it's very important that we unify. he reliesed his bill the next day. and his conservative colleagues started criticizing it. so that's going to be key. so what happens behind closed doors at 10:00 a.m. with house republicans is going to start -- we're going to start to see where they go from here. host: thank you for being with us this morning. guest: thank you. host: we encourage you to go to thehill.com for more of their reporting throughout the day. we have just a minute or so left. let's take another call and tweet as we wrap up here. indiana, brenda, a republican. on the air. go ahead, please. caller: yes. i was calling -- i don't
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understand, why isn't anybody bringing up about the the $9 trillion that was the federal reserve loss in september of 2009? and the money that the u.n -- that we gave the up unthat lost. and then they just lost more money that they sent overseas. and and they always want to go after the poor and the sick and the elderly, and it's just like majority of people do not even know about you cannot plan for your death for five years, and that the federal and state takes your money if you're in the hospital 100 days a year and you're on social security. it automatically goes over into medicaid, and whether you're married or not -- host: sorry, brenda, we're out of time here. thank you for your call. one last voice here, james on twitter writes, he's reacting to the democratic caller we
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just had, the tea party ran on cutting on spending, the caller is lying when she says they were saying jobs, jobs, jobs. congressman joe walsh of illinois will be here. half an hour later, mike ross, our guest on this friday morning as the debt debate continues here in washington. >> this week on book tv, booktv on c-spant, robert rose onsouth carolina's success he is from the union. saturday, and on american history tv on c-span3, charleston during the american revolution, the story from the city's annual carolina days festival, saturday at 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. and throughout the weekend, discover more about the unique
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history and literary life with shorts on the civil war sub, plantation life, and a catastrophic 1886 earthquake. charleston, south carolina, this weekend on c-span2 and c-span3. this weekend on book tv on c-span2, from the libertarian freedom fest, don luskin matches today's business leaders to their counterparts, the merits of the rat race, on how irrational beliefs are formed, and we examine obamacare. also this weekend, the jordanian double agent who detonated a 30-pound bomb killing seven c.i.a. agents, on the triple agents, also how teddy roosevelt's life was shaped by his years as a ranch neither badlands of the dakotas. look for the complete schedule at booktv.org. >> that figure that's moving the veil of ignorance from
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human understanding, that's an american invention. that's not a classical statute, but it's sort of classical from what our reading is all about. >> if you missed the latest documentary, "library of congress," there's a preview on c-span's youtube channel. become a subscriber. it's free. be notified of videos and watch the entire library of congress documentary and hundreds of other timely videos online at youtube.com/cspan. like any business service, subject to marketplace trends, and unfortunately we've seen a significant, long-term decline in our most profitable product category, first-class mail, which accounts for approximately 50% of our revenue >> that was the postmaster general testifying on the financial stability of the u.s. mail. this week he announced plans to close more than 3,600 branches across the country. learn more about post office operations online with the c-span video library.
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search, watch, clip, and share. it's what you want, when you want. >> "washington journal" continues. host: and on your screen on this friday morning, as we're in the midst of the debt negotiations here in washington, congressman joe walsh, republican of illinois' eighth district. he's a freshman member, republican, aligned with the tea party thinking in congress, and you are a no vote on the plan? guest: i am a no vote. host: why? guest: i take a contrarian view. it was interesting listening to some of your callers earlier to what's going on right now. i actually am quite positive with what's going on up on that hill right now. this is democracy at work. there are a lot of strong feelings all the way around. i think everybody's trying to work something out. you know, for me, i just think this country is falling off a financial cliff. republicans were sent to congress to try to make sure we come up with some solution so
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we're not having this conversation again. so i give my leadership all the credit in the world, because i've been pretty clear in what i think. i don't think the white house has been serious. the senate democrats haven't passed a budget in two years. john boehner and eric cantor are the only sort of leadership team up here that's really been trying to craft something. it's difficult. host: how concerned are you about the august 2 deadline? guest: i've never been obsessed with august 2. i've been obsessed with getting this right. i think the president made a mistake early on when he focused so hard on august 2 and tried to scare folks, this notion of default. nobody wants default, and we won't default on august 3. he knows that. the notion of i may not be able to cut social security checks on august 2, he knows that's not true. if it takes a few days, at this historic time to get this right, let's do it. and i think if that had been
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our focus three months ago, we'd be in a better place right now. host: i found an op-ed piece this morning in the "washington times", can remake the political landscape in 2012. he's looking forward to the next election, chairman of the american conservative union. he writes, unfortunately we must also be realistic. at the end of the day, when we currently control just 1/3 of the formula, conserve activities will not see our ideal bill passed this year. in exchange for a short-term solution, we must hold the line against new taxes and spending. we should support mr. boehner and our leadership who have gone toe-to-toe with the president and liberals in congress on a temporary deal that will meet these two criteria and prevent carte blanche increases in the debt limit. conservatives in the senate should stand strong behind the two-step plan that passed the house and force harry reid to take this legislation to mr. obama's desk. while imperfect, it's viable, it doesn't raise taxes, and
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keeps check's authority on the debt limit. what would you say? guest: we all support our speaker. we appreciate what he's doing. what we've been trying to do is pull him and pull our conference and pull the entire debate in a bold direction. trying to get as much as we can, again, to make sure we never get here. there's this notion of a balanced budget amendment, which 70% of the american people support. virtually every republican supports. truthfully, most democrats support. i think that's the kind of systematic reform that a lot of us really want to see in order to raise the debt ceiling. i think we've got an historic time right now to try to do it. we're trying to tug folks in that direction. host: respond to the progressives and liberals who argue that the fragile economy cannot stand a bold move right now, that, in fact, it will have a deleterious effect on the struggling economy.
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guest: i just think that's such a mis-read. it's always confusing when you're here and you're in the bubble. the crisis is our debt crisis. we have a government we can't afford. we have a government that's borrowing money, millions every second. that's the crisis. and we're so worked up about this debt ceiling debate. if we don't do something about that crisis, and we've got a small window, future generations will never forgive us. we have an opportunity right now to try to do something as bold as we can. and i think there are a number of us that just believe the boehner plan isn't bold enough, and we're just, again, trying to tug him in a direction. host: so how do you see the next couple of days play out? guest: i'm just a freshman. i don't know. susan, you can answer that question. look, again, i take a contrarian view. i think this is wonderful. i wish the entire country were watching this and glued to this. look, the american people woke
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up to a large degree. the president won fair and square three years ago. for some reason, they sent republicans to congress. this is, i believe -- i said this during the campaign -- i think we're going through a revolution in this country. it's a good thing. i hope everybody's paying attention to what's going on here. i respect all your callers, but don't get down. this is our country at work. we'll work out something. host: sense your views were already known, were you subject to a lot of lobbying yesterday? guest: yes. we all have them, and, again, i'm a freshman. it's an interesting process. i've been surprised at how respectful and genuine it's been from john boehner all the way down. the stakes are big, and we've all good our principles, and there hasn't been kicking and elbowing. it's been a respectful process. host: a couple of members have
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decided to change their vote. are there a couple of members for whom they are a benchmark for you? if they say yes, you'll probably join them. guest: you know, good question. there are so many members up there that i respect and look to. my benchmarks are my god, my constituency, and my principles , balanced with, again, the political reality and what can get done. i'm really guided by what's best, and that's the country. host: we have a facebook page open. you can tweet us. and good, old-fashioned email, we'll take those as well. and we welcome your questions or comments for freshman congressman joe walsh. before we get to calls, mr. walsh, there is a story about your personal life in the news. we're getting twitter comments and facebook comments about it. it's about the child support lawsuit from your former
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spouse. tell us what's going on and what your position is on it. guest: again, i know this sort of broke, it wasn't new to me, only in that this was a case that was filed sometime ago. and again, it's a personal family matter that involves my kids, and i'm hoping that we can work it out in the next -- as soon as we can, so that our kids, my kids, my kids and my former wife's kids are not thrown into this. so it's something we hope to work out. host: i was reading on your web sited. are you suggesting that there's a curious timing about this coming out now? are you suggesting there are political motivations? guest: it's odd to me -- again, this is all -- it's odd to me that a case that was filed eight months ago about a marriage that ended eight years ago is a story now. there's a local chicago paper that just seems to have a thing
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for me. i've been very outspoken in what i think about this debate. i've been very outspoken about what i think for this president. i've been very outspoke been what i think about this debt crisis. i have no doubt that there are some folks who are trying to hit me and knock me. but, look, this is part of the business. i got into this when i ran last year, susan, i felt like -- i felt like i was naked for a year. i had lost a home. i financially struggled, like a lot of americans had, and i walked around and talked about all that with everyone t. just is very odd to me that a very outspoken freshman right now is very hit with this other stuff that's been out there for a while, and we've been quietly trying to work through. host: what was your business before coming to congress? guest: i did a lot of different things. i was a teacher. i worked in the nonprofit world for a long time. i tried my hand at a little bit of private sector investment
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and banking, capital raising, sort of a number of different things. host: and with that background and capital raising, what would your message to the capital markets be right now? guest: take a breath. take a breath. susan, again, we don't know exactly how accurate the reports are, but there were reports a few days ago that the president, the administration was privately calling bankers, telling them, don't worry, this whole notion of default, don't worry, things will get taken care of. i wish he had. they had conveyed that message to the public. host: republican for congressman walsh, you're on the air. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i just wanted to say, we as americans -- republicans, democrats, i think that as far as social security, i paid in it since i was 17, and i'm 82, and i'm still working, and i
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know that that money was borrowed, and i hear people say, well, there's so many more people coming on to social security, we can't afford it. well, i tell you what, my husband paid in, my daughter paid in, my son paid in, my son-in-law paid in, and all of them are gone, so we have lost a lot of people, as well as gaining people. i just think we could go back to our basic roots and just be honest with one another, and whether we're elected or not, maybe they could take the funds they raised for election and pay off the national debt, and i bet everybody would vote for them. guest: i thank you for your call. we are all americans. and i think the media tends to overplay the partisan aspect of this. again, i'm just a freshman, but i'm impressed by everybody, every one of my colleagues up here trying to reflect the way
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the american people think and figure out a solution to this so we can get by this debt ceiling issue and deal with the real debt crisis. host: a poll that just came out, 6% of the public say congress is doing a good job. guest: 6%? that's high. look, i understand that. i understand that there's frustration with congress, with the president, with probably every institution up here. but again, i'll take a contrarian view. folks got to strap up. they got to put their seat belt on. this is big, tough stuff. our country is going through something huge. we have a big, big government, susan, that we can't afford. this, i would argue, is all of our fault. it's not just members of congress' fault. it's all americans' fault, because we've let it get to this point. so now we're all sort of uncomfortable because we've got to make some difficult decisions. we all have to act like
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grown-ups. host: there are a number of stories about the president and the options available to him. here's just one in the "financial times." it says, obama faces legal dilemmas as time runs out. there are discussions about whether he can issue an executive order about the debt ceiling or use the 14th amendment to the constitution. if the president chooses to act independently, what would your reaction be? >> i'd be very disappointed. i think most of congress would be disappointed. i hope he wouldn't do this. with an issue this big, which is just a step in our debt crisis, i think the solution has to be a solution that most american people, again, reflected by this body up here, support. it would be very dangerous, i think unilaterally for him to do something like that and i think unconstitutional. host: dallas, texas, good morning to carolyn, a democrat. carolyn, you're on, good morning. caller: hi, good morning. thanks for taking my call. guest: i'm looking at the
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recovery.gov website, and i see in the state of illinois you've already received $15.5 billion in stimulus funds, and that's segregated from every other fund. in addition to that, the stimulus bill included $8,000 credit for each homeowner first time, and it reduced our taxes. so, two questions. would you, after $15 billion, say the stimulus bill did not work? and then the second question, would you be willing to go to your constituents where you plan to cut their programs or whatever face to face and tell them why you would rather cut their benefits instead of going after the rich person. thank you. guest: thank you. i've been pretty public in that i don't think the stimulus did work. unfortunately, we wasted a lot of that money, and it didn't go to -- even the president chuckled about job-ready
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projects. look, we have to cut government. and everything needs to be on the table. we all have to have something in this solution, and that's what's difficult about what we're going through right now, because it's like a lot of americans have woken up after 30 or 40 years and realized we have a big, big government we can't afford, and everyone's a little uncomfortable with it, but i guess, carolyn, i take a more positive view. i think most americans understand where we're at and understand that we've got to make some real tough, difficult choices. host: an opposing point of view, "wall street journal" this morning has printed a piece by senator bernie sanders with the headline, "why americans are so angry." he writes, the rich are getting richer. the tax rate has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. nurses, teachers, and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. it's no wonder the american
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people are angry. republicans want the entire burden of the deficit to be carried by the elderly, the sick, children, and working families. what's your response? guest: respect the heck out of bernie, but i think he's kind of crazy there. look, the top 5% of americans pay 60% of the tax burden. for the first time in our country's history, we have over 50% of our population that doesn't pay any federal income taxes. bernie's right that a lot of wealthy individuals and wealthy corporations primarily get away with not paying taxes. that's because we have such a complicated, convoluted tax system that politicians from both parties have created. and if you want to do something like that, if you want the g.e.'s of the world to pay their fair share, simplify the tax code. we need tax reform. that's something republicans have advocated for years. i'm curious as to whether bernie advocates that. but as long as we have such a
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complicated code, only the wealthy among us will have the resources to pay the accountants and lawyers, find every loophole, and come out not paying everything. host: next is pennsylvania. our caller is it ed, an independent. good morning, ed. caller: good morning. congressman walsh, if you started giving parts of your salary away, pretty soon you wouldn't have enough money left to be paying your bills. you'd end up in a deficit for the year. and if you kept doing that, giving away your salary, your money, ronald reagan had a concept call starve the beast. everybody should starve the beast. ronald reagan says the only way we can get at social security and medicare, destroy these programs, is to make the government debt so big that we can't pay for them. so he started emptying out the treasury with these huge tax cuts for the rich, which have continued on today, the reagan tax cuts are still in effect. so when you start emptying out the treasury, giving money back basically to the wealthy, pretty soon you can't pay your
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bills. that's a deficit for the year. and year after year, you keep giving the money away, and we got the bush tax cuts piled on those, and now there's a huge deficit. this huge deficit, about 95% of this money went to the rich. now we're going to balance this budget, you guys are trying to protect the wealthy and the rich, you know, by going after the elderly and the poor. guest: ed, thanks. i'm curious as to whether you think president obama is part efforts starve the beast conspiracy you're talking about. the three have i we make government so big that we have to cut. is the current president part of that? he's added about almost $4 trillion to our debt in 2 1/2 years. host: ed, you still there? croip we bailed out the banks, which was $750 billion.
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guest: it went to -- we bailed out the banks. it went to stimulus. it went to healthcare. it went to -- we increased nondefense and nondiscretionary spending over the last 2 1/2 years, well over 24%. again, i understand what you're saying. i would just argue this is kind of a bipartisan problem. both parties have gotten us to this point. when you just look at the numbers, the amount of debt this president has added in 2 1/2 years pales what george w. bush did in eight years. let me make one other point, ed. nobody wants to get rid of social security and medicare. you may disagree with what republicans are proposing, but if we don't reform these programs, don't know how old you are, medicare and social security will not be around for
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me or my kid's generation, so let's figure out a way to reform them. host: here's a question from lisa goldman on twitter, aside from cutting taxes and spending, what does representative joe walsh plan to do about creating more jobs? guest: great question, because part of what frustrates me is, you know, the republicans came to congress to cut spending and grow the economy. and it may seem like all we've heard out of washington is cut spending. here's what we believe. we believe every dollar we spend here is a dollar that businessmen and women and the rest of us are spending back home. the only way you're going to create jobs in this country is to get government out of the way. right now, small business is overtaxed. they're overregulated. they're scared to death with all the spending that washington, d.c., is doing. we have got to free them up. this administration and the democrats the last 2 1/2 years
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have basically put a foot on the backs of small businessmen and women in this country, and they can't grow and they can't create jobs because is just in their way. wee got to free them up. host: next call from plantation, florida, calvin, a republican. good morning. caller: they cannot provide jobs, because the jobs they would provide have been dispatched with the jobs of bigger companies have spent abroad. it's the problem, not part of the solution. it's very evident where my party is going, because when you consider someone like mitch mcconnell has supported every measure on behalf of oil
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billionaire and he had a personal fortune of almost $42 million, we can't be surprised that the republican party has. it will continue be the puppet, and there is dividing this country in a way that george washington warned about its aggressive. it seems to me that people like mr. walsh really needs to study the history of this country. thank you very much. guest: thank you, calvin, for your thoughts. small business in this country creates about 70% of the jobs in this country. you're right when you rail on big business. but again, calvin, i would say this isn't necessarily a republican issue. it's both.
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i don't think whether your president's name is obama or bush, goldman sachs has a resoling door to the white house. the head of g.e., jeffrey immelt, is one of president obama's good friends. look, both parties tend to worship at the altar of big business. that's who they tend to listen to, not just republicans. there's almost a populist element going on in the country right anyway in that we bailed out the big banks, big questions don't pay taxes. the small guy and gal in this country has been hammered, and they're not getting bailed out. that's not a partisan issue. that's calvin, respectfully, what a lot of us ran on six or eight months ago. we need to provide relief to the small business man and woman. host: we have about four minutes left with congressman walsh. our program is short today, only till 9:00 a.m. eastern time because the house is coming in session, but our producer has just told us the house will come in at 9:00, and
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immediately recess until they figure out what their plan of action is for today. so lots of uncertainty. if your body cannot pass a piece of legislation and, in fact, harry reid has become -- comes in, how do you feel about that? guest: equally disappointed. again, susan, what i hope would happen is if we can't arrive at something, we go back to what we arrived at last week and take that cut, cap, and balance, which the american people understand support, send it back to the senate one more time, and respectfully say to harry reid, amend this thing. became out with the cup, cap, and balanced budget amendment. send us something back. we gave them a vehicle last week, a bold vehicle that i would argue that 234 of us supported, five democrats, the american people support, i would hope they'd come back to us with a variation of that.
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host: it would go to the senate, immediate willing be voted down, thus leaving his legislation as a starting point in the discussion. guest: again, susan, you've been in this town longer than i have. i'm sure that something is going to be batted back and forth. there are folks that don't want to get beyond august 2. i'd argue we need to do this right. but you're going to see a flurry of activity in the next few hours and days. host: milwaukee, wisconsin, robert, a democrat. caller: congressman walsh -- guest: i love milwaukee, robert. great town. caller: yeah, i love it too, and i was born in kankakee, illinois. caller: fantastic. you are the luckiest congressman in the united states of america. guest: is that a compliment or insult? caller: a little bits of both. firstly, you're the loudest mouthpiece for the republicans, and that's all scombl good. you're doing your talking
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points quite well. guest: hey, robert, can i make one correction to you? caller: you're on every station, and you've done this quite well. some of the things that is somewhat ludicrous, such as the president of the united states never attempted to balance a budget over those years. however, there was -- the senate had to do a 60e-count thing, i think, in order to pass anything, and he never got that, so he couldn't do anything with that part. host: robert, we're either going to stop there or you have a quick conclusion, because we're almost out of time. caller: we're paying your child support, and you should be paying your own child support. thank you. you should be in jail. thank you. guest: robert, thanks. boy, that went in a direction i didn't think it would go. robert, look, if people think i'm a mouthpiece for the
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republicans, call up my speaker, john boehner, and tell him thatment i don't think he thinks that. i've tried to be a mouthpiece for the values that sent me here, which is we had better figure out a way to stop this town from bankrupting our kids and our grand kids, and that's all i'm interested in trying to get in the way of, and i'll call out any republicans or democrats that continue us down this path. host: a conservative viewer writes, this doesn't cut socialism security. guest: again, eventually it would, if there were a balanced budget amendment that said every year this place has to balance its books, it can't spend morn it takes in, then everything falls under that. so our entitlements are discretionary, our defense, everything would have to balance every year. host: new jersey, you're our last caller.
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you're on the air. caller: hi. i have a question for everyone. who will really make out if there is a default? who will really make out if the interest rates go up? host: do you have an answer? caller: i have an answer, toosm i'll remember when interest rates were high. i was getting 13% on my money. and i remember people wanting to borrow short term for 25% to 35%, and i made a lot of money. and i believe now there are a lot of people sitting on cash, a lot of big banks, a lot of big corporations, there are a lot of people that are sitting on capital that will really profit from this, and i think they're behind or fueling a lot of the statements that are being made about what's going on. i think they really want to happen. forgive me for asking this question, but you said you're divorced, warring a wedding ring. i'm confused. guest: yes, i've been married for five years now.
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i was divorced. my first marriage, eight years ago. look, i don't know. it's an interesting theory who would benefit. here's all i know. we'd all suffer. nobody wants a default. and we would all suffer immeasurably if interest rates went up. nobody up here is talking default. everybody is talking about a solution to make sure we never get here again and we can avoid default. host: that is it for our time. thank you for being here. we're going to take a very short break. in fact, we're going to keep the cameras live here, because we have one more guest, another member of congress, mike roth, democrat of arkansas, blue dog democrat. he'll be here to take your calls. we're going to make a quick switch and be right back to you.
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host: we continue our conversation on this friday morning, july 29, with congressman mike ross. he is an arkansas democrat, fourth district, with some good c-span towns down there. thanks for being here. guest: susan, good to be with you this morning. host: what's your vote on the boehner debt plan? guest: i'm a no. the fact that every single
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democrat is a no, i think that tells you how bad it is. and the fact that we were supposed to have the vote on it at 6:00 p.m. last night, and we waited and we waited and we waited, and then finally at 10:30 last night, they sent us home. i mean, he cannot even get 218 votes among republicans in the house, and yet he has a 25-seat majority. s&p, standard & poor's has said, you know, that for us to protect our a.a.a. credit rating, not just about raising debt limit, but also putting $2 trillion to $4 trillion on the table, this is less than a trillion in cuts, and it just gets us five months. and if you think washington can't get anything done on this issue now, can you imagine five months from now bringing it back all over again five months closer to the election than we are today?
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you know, i'm known as a conservative democrat. if there's six or eight democrats in the house that vote in a bipartisan way with the republicans, i'm one of them. and none of the six or so of us are voting for this because it's the wrong plan for america. it's about politics. this is dead on arrival in the senate. he knows that. this is just a political posturing message game that's going on, and we need to stop the partisan bickering and work together, not as democrats and republicans, but as americans, to get the job done for the american people. host: congressman ross, two things you should know about him. he mentioned he's a conservative. he is part of the so-called blue dog group, which numbers really lowered at the last election, about six to eight of you in congress right now? guest: no, no, no, there's 25 of the fiscally conservative democratic blue dog coalition. we've had as few as 18, we've had as many as 54. before the democrats took
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control of the house in 2006, there were only 33 of us. in fact, we jumped from 33 to 54, and that demonstrates, when democrats control congress, it's conservative, moderate, fiscally conservative democrats that put the democrats in the majority. host: so who are the six who sometimes cross to vote? guest: there's really more than six. there's 25 of us. but, you know, of those 25, you look it up, i think the most conservative probably are dan boren from oklahoma, colin peterson from minnesota, jason from pennsylvania, jim mathison from utah, me, and i'm going to get in trouble, because there's 25 of us. that's basically 25 of the more fiscally conservative members in the congress. heath shuler, of course, from north carolina. i mean, the list goes on and on. host: and you have enough that you are not seeking
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re-election? guest: i did monday. very difficult decision for me, but basically, i had a press conference monday in arkansas, stood up and said the american people are fed up with congress, and so am i. i'll be leaving congress at the end of this term. i've been here 12 years. it's dvent for each member of congress, and i respect that, but for me, i never came here to stay. i did not come here to turn this into a permanent career. i wanted to do my service and move on. it's been 12 years. it's been a good run. it's someone else's turn. arkansas is full of a lot of bright folks. i'm absolutely convinced they're ready to step up and offer a new generation of leadership for our country. host: so as a conservative who's freed up from having to seek re-election, what will you vote for in this debt limit? i think we need $2 trillion to
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$4 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. i also think it's got to be a shared sacrifice. we can't just cut our way out of this. we've got to have significant spending cuts. we've also got to have some revenue. i believe we need tax reforms. the republicans are standing in the way of doing away with tax credits for corporate jets. they're standing in the way of doing away with removing tax credits for the big five oil companies. the last time i checked, they seemed to be doing pretty well on their own. and they continue to stand in the way of removing, doing away with tax credits for the big corporations who ship our jobs overseas. we're going to be providing tax credits to big corporations. it needs to be those that keep jobs in america. host: all morning, we also incorporate emails, face book comments, and also you can go on twitter, so lots of ways to be involved. i'll try to get a mix of all
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these media here on the table. let's begin with a phone call from texas for congressman ross. this is john, a republican. john, you're on. good morning. caller: good morning. i have three parts, three quick points that you could start bringing the deficit down. number one, do away with the child tax credits of $1,000. do away with earned income credit. i'm going to tell you why in a minute. and medicaid, except for those on disability, they like to enjoy fun, but they can't afford the child that they're going to have nine months later, and i don't believe that that should it be passed onto the taxpayer because of their irresponsibleness. and then do away with the federal withholding tax for everyone that makes $19,000 and under. thank you. host: thanks. what do you think of any of his ideas? guest: you know, i think -- look, we need reforms to the tax code.
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there's no doubt about that. i've said all along we need to reform this tax code in terms of medicaid, and obviously it's a very critical safety net program. most seniors, for all of us, if we live long enough, we're going to eventually probably end up requiring some type of skilled nursing home care, and if you look at what it costs for a nursing home, it doesn't matter how much you spend a lifetime working and saving, you're going burn through it pretty quick. and that's where the majority of our medicaid delards go right now, to help care for our seniors in the nursing home. i'm absolutely opposed to those type of cuts, and i think he is too. is there waste, fraud, and abuse in the medicaid program? absolutely. but we also have guidelines. it's really up to the american
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people. if you see someone getting any type of government benefit that's not entitled to it, report it. host: face book, george asks, please ask representative ross why the democrats are using scare tactics and please tell both of them it's time to do their job and stop grand standing. do you think your party has been using scare tactics? guest: no, i don't. i've probably zadepreed with the president. i think he's right on this, and i think it's the republicans that are being unreasonable. i don't know what scare tactics he's referring to. i can tell you that the default is real. it will be the first time that we've defaulted as a country, and it will have serious economic consequences for every citizen of this country. host: st. cloud, minnesota, is next for mr. ross. cindy is an independent. good morning. caller: good morning. i'm not too smart, but this
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whole thing i've been thinking about is how come -- why don't they just have this stimulus people that they mailed stimulus out to, packages, have them return the money back? host: ok. thanks for the call. just related to, that i saw a tweet a little while ago that the tarp money that has been paid to banks has been, for the most part, paid back. what kind of return on investment did we get on the stimulus package? guest: there's a lot of misinformation out there. look, some people have a short-term memory on this, and some republicans are even suffering from amnesia on this. look, it was 2008 and we had a president named george w. bush, and we were losing 3/4 of million jobs a month. the stock market crashed 6,000 points, something south of
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7,000. and it was president bush that said we've got to rescue the banks. and i can tell you it was never about the banks. and i know this wasn't a politically popular thing to do, and a lot of my colleagues got beat over it. it was never about the banks. at the time, 90% of all bank deposits were in about 20 banks. 2/3 of all home loans were in five banks. they were all headed south in a hurry. and the meetings i was in with folks that are not bankers and are not democrats, are not republicans, they're just financial experts, economists, they all agreed that everything was going to crash, and we were headed for not a recession, but a depression, and the only debate was how long we had to act. ? thought it was a matter of days, some thought it was a matter of weeks. but everybody agreed it was going to happen. these were 5% interest for five years, no free money after that, and the big banks have
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now paid that back with interest. same thing about the auto bailout. any way you look at it, we saved g.m. it's a huge success story. that money paid back. and then the stimulus, 1/3 of it was tax cuts to everybody in this country. so i don't know if cindy is suggesting that we get that tax cut we provided everybody in america back. i think that would be a bad idea. but a wird was tax cuts, a third was aid to the states, and had they not received that, there would have been massive layoffs among school teachers. you would have seen college tuition rise to the point where students can afford it, and you would have seen seniors literally kicked out of nursing home, because those are a really couple of huge expenditures that our state dealt with. and then 1/3 was infrastructure projects. we put people to work improving our nation's infrastructure. it's been sorely neglected in
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light of the two wars that have lasted for the better part of a decade or more now. and the bottom line is this -- we've gone from losing 3/4 of a million jobs a month in the last quarter of the bush presidency to we have created over two million new private sector jobs in the past 15 months. everyone will tell you that we're definitely in a recovery. it's a very slow recovery. it's still painful for many. i'm not going to rest until everyone who wants a job has one. but i think a lot of people are trying to rewrite history from the last few years. host: new york is next for congressman ross. this is pam, a democrat. you're on, pamela. caller: hi. good morning. i have a few comments, and i'll listen to his answer. he says wondering why young people cannot opt out of social security and invest their own money for retirement. and also, president obama promised to bring the troops home. if he brought them home now, wouldn't that save a lot of money? and there is a lot of welfare
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and medicaid fraud, a lot of the money is going towards that. my last comment is, i'm on social security. i get $255 a month. i have multiple sclerosis. i've been pushed to try to get food stamps and medicaid. i will not take entitlements. there's been no cost of living increase for us on social security. we have to live in our means, and the government should have to, too. so i'm against a debt limit increase. thank you. guest: thanks, pamela. i appreciate that. all i can do is take an opposition on social security. our seniors did not get us in this fiscal mess, and i think it's wrong to use them as a political football in this debate. our seniors aren't responsible for the debt and benefits to our seniors should not be cut. i'm opposed to privatizing social security and medicare. in terms. wars, we're in a responsible redeployment out of iraq now. the president has started a
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responsible redeployment out of afghanistan. it has a huge part of this -- look, let's look at how we got in this situation. first, in the blush administration, typically republican administration cut taxes or spending. in the bush administration, he cut taxes, but he didn't consult spending. and then we had the recession. you know, we've got a huge revenue problem. 15 million people used to get up and pay taxes like we do. now they're looking for work. that's taken a huge hit on our revenue. but, look, don't misunderstand me. i mean, our government has gotten too big, and we've got to cut spending, and we need significant spending cuts. i like the simpson plan. i spent about 40 minutes yesterday on a phone call visiting with president clinton. i'm from hope, arkansas. he's from hope, arkansas. i used to actual be his driver when he was 19 and he was 35
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making his comeback for governor. we talked a lot about the simpson plan. this boehner plan, the republican plan in the house cuts less than a trillion. even the plan in the senate only cuts, what, a couple of trillion. the bolles-simpson plan cuts about $9 trillion over 10 years. if we're really going to look at public policy and really address this debt, we need to be looking at the bowles-simpson plan. if we're going to play politics, then we should continue to play around with plans currently pending. host: did former president clinton offer you any advice you'll share? guest: he really likes the bowles-simpson plan a lot. it's a good frame work. a lot of that is incorporated in the gang of six plan. i think the speaker's plan is going to fall apart, neither house, where he can't even muster up 218 points, or to die in the senate. senator reid's plan, if he can
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get to the 60e votes in the senate, i don't think he can get it through the republican-controlled house, and then in the 11th hour, i'm counting on the gang of six in the senate, which is largely a framework of the bowles-simpson plan, to provide us with real meaningful cuts, not a trillion here or there, but $9 trillion over 10 years, so we can really not just get out of this fiscal crisis at the moment, but so we can also secure our future for our children and grandchildren. and then finally, i understand her deal on not getting a raise on her social security check. a lot of people think we vote on that. prior to 1974, i understand congress did vote on it. i know this is going to shock you, susan, but i understand if it was not an election year, you get a little raise. if it was an election year, you got a big raise. and they took the politics out
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of it back in 1974, starting 1975 with basically a formula, and that formula is giving seniors a raise every year until the last two years. in fact, the formula that gave them the biggest raise since 19 2, 5.6%, i believe, four years ago, is the same formula that did not give them a raise the last two years. obviously what caused that was the recession. those are numbers that affect the formula. but i led the effort to make sure seniors weren't getting a raise, members of congress weren't either, and i made sure members of congress did not get a raise last year, and i made sure members of congress did not get a raise this year. seniors aren't going to get one, we shouldn't either, period. host: not meaning to correct you, because we've heard from several that, for this vote, because every vote seems to count, the number is actually 216 for a majority because of gabrielle giffords and maurice hinchy, two medically -- two congressmen who are on medical
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leave. let's go to our next call for mr. ross from rockford, illinois. thomas is a republican there. good morning, tom. caller: yes, good morning. last year your party had control of the senate, the congress, and plus the white house. how come you guys dent pass a budget last year? guest: you know, we couldn't get together on it. i had no excuse for it. look, washington broke it. that's why i'm getting out at the end of this term. i came here, and i progressively watched it get worse. and what we have seen is a town that's mired in partisanship and games of gotcha. the votes we take on the house floor today, they're not about good public policy. they're about trying to position candidates and catching members of congress on record, vote nag way that they can then take to store in the next tv ad.
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and i'm fed up with it. i mean, this is not what the framers of our constitution intended. in terms of a budget last year, it takes 60 votes to do anything in the senate, tom. this is a challenge that we really have. let me tell you one of the biggest problems we have up here, first, the house. 435 members of congress, they're all here all season, because of redistricting, not just in the last few years, but it's had over decades, because of redistricting, there's less than 100 members of congress that can ever get beat in a november general election. the rest of them, if you're going to beat them, you're going beat them in a primary. so as a result, republicans run to their far right, and the democrats run to their far left, whether they're far left or want, and there's less than 100 left in the middle in a reputational form of government. and then, in the senate, it takes 60% to do anything. i mean, decisions were made
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with less than 60%, dwrote run america it takes 60% of the vote. the only thing worse than being in the minority is being in a majority with less than 60 votes. that's no excuse, because both political parties, they need to stop the partisan bickering. we need to come together. we're all americans first. i'm very disappointed in what's happening up here. and how it's progressively gotten worse during the 12 years i've done here. i've done the best i can, but, you know, 12 years is a long time. i don't think we ought to come up here, or i don't think i should come up here and make a permanent career out of it. i'm going home to prescott, arkansas, and giving someone else a shot. host: this is an arkansan on twitter who writes, how do you bring jobs back to small towns like pine bluff that have been in decline for a decade as people leave for northwest arkansas? guest: i think there are
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several things we do. a lot of trade agreements that have been passed and voted on and passed in the past have not been good. they certainly haven't been good for rural areas. i think we need to revisit the trade agreements. we need trade agreements that allow us to shift our product overseas rather than our jobs. secondly, we got to continue to focus more and more on education and job training. when my parents were growing up, typically you drove up and you get whatever skill set or education level you're going attain, you get a job, and you pretty much retire from it. i remember when i was traveling around for bill clinton, when he was running for governor, he's telling folks, if it's a dmpt world today and you're probably going to have three different jobs in your life lime, talking about the property of job training. now, any children, if studies are accurate, will likely have
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10 or 12 different jobs in their lifetime. this is very important to provide the job training and retraining as things change. as it results to the economy, especially in rural areas. i also think it's important that we revisit our tax codes. why in the world is this country providing tax cuts to big corporations who ship our jobs overseas? we should be providing tax cuts to the businesses on main street, and businesses of all size that are willing to stand up and say, we're going to making it in america and put memory people to work. >> here's a quick falloff. if tax breaks face so many jobs, why don't we have jobs? haven't these temporary brakes take so long? >> we need tax reform, and there seems to be a shared sacrifice.
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and i think the wealthiest people are willing to step up and pay a little more if they know that we're cutting spending, and if we know we are waiting waste, brought, and abuse. i think taxes for small businesses are important. a lot of towns, we just think about the top 100 companies trying to chase them down, but half the jobs in arkansas come from small businesses and not seeing tax cuts. the more of their open money they can keep rather than turn it over to the country. they can do it. host: gulfport, mississippi, alexis. short question, please. alexis? are you there? caller: yes, i am. host: our time's almost out. short question, please.
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caller: yes, i am. what i had a question about is my family with these stability, and they depend on that to survive and live off. are they going to be table receive those things? but what's going on is completely going to cut them off. host: as i said earlier, seniors department get us in this fiscal wress and shouldn't be punished. if we can't rate the lebt feeling. so we'll have to lock at what comes in each day, and it will require many difficult decisions to make. i can tell you this, the first person in life not to get paid should be members of congress. host: stanton, virginia, donald, republican. caller: my question is, if we knew these tax cuts were going to hurt us, why would we even
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do these anyway? i mean, can't we do something about companies that go to low tax havens and everything? >> that's what the republicans are blocking right now. it's the fact that -- again, i think the president anticipates right on this. and i haven't afreda lot of the time. but he's offering, you know, $3 in tax cuts for every dollar in revenue view. and he want to storts by limiting the big questions on corporate sears and the big five oil company. and the republicans are standing up and protecting these corporate somewheres, and our could go with this. so it's about priorities. it's time for the republicans to realize they got to stop holding this hostage. we've all got to work together and get the job done. i think he's more than halfway.
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host: reno, nevada. caller: i always that i obob was a behind the man. and i shall the -- they worked under them. why do we tax them? guest: i'm with you. i don't have any other ways to say it. host: our last segment, the congressman cited the percentage of -- and the message of taxes that they pay, arguing they pay more than their fair share. host: the statistics is the largest percentage of merks eat the family guest: again, corporations to, don't give them a tax credit. corporations that buy corporate jets, don't let them write it off. the big five oil companies, why
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are we providing tax cuts to the big five oil companies? they're just fine fine. >> personal texas on possession tax. i can't think of any other friend. juanita, not much time. caller: all of us, we came over here, and we have stayed, and we have stayed into all the plans they ask us to. my mom died between my sister. of course, a lot of people who die have already paid. host: the question is about social security's receipt versus responsibility, suggesting there's more money than the debate suggests. guest: we are paying out more than we get in, but we have a huge surplus in the social
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security trust fund. our challenge is really our long term. medicare is where we have a lot of challenges out there. i think the debt limit issue has been misrepresented by a lot of people. there has been so much focus on it. it was initially set in 1917, 74 times, 17 and to president reagan, seven under george w. bush, the three so far under president obama. it simply allows us to meet the obligations we have already got. the fact is, numbers don't lie. if we find social security and medicaid and defense and abolish the rest of the federal government, let air traffic controllers go and let the airplanes dock each other in the air, abolish everything except social security, medicare,
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medicaid and defense, and tax the top 2% what they were playinpaying under clinton, we d still be in the red this year. host: congressman, thank you for your time this friday. house of representatives is now in session for the day. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] . i hereby appoint the honorable randy neugebauer to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by chaplain father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. thank you, lord, for giving us another day. at the end of a hard week and after a long night, we ask again your blessing on the members of this people's house. there is very hard work to do as the weekend nears. give each member strength and wisdom that they might fulfill the awesome pocket they have to
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work a solution to our nation's challenges. we pray, as well, for the families of these men and women during a distressful time. give them peace and calm as their loved ones labor here. may they know and experience the presence of your spirit and know with confidence that the entire nation is grateful for their generosity. it is their love and support that strengthens the members of the house. bless all families, o god, that their love for each other will be a witness to your love for each one of us. and may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline.
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mr. cicilline: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. the gentleman from south carolina, for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute and po revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, when the president is correct, we should thank him. such as keeping open guantanamo bay detention facility despite his promise to close it. in the recent past, as senator in 2006, the president was correct. quote, the fact that we are here today to debate raising
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america's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. it is a sign that the u.s. government cannot pay its own bills. it is a sign we depend on ongoing financial assistance to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. end of quote. house republicans with the positive leadership of speaker john boehner last week passed the best solution to the debt ceiling. the cut, cap and balance act of 2011. the liberals cowardly response in the senate was to table it and hide their members from an open vote. it is not too late for liberals to vote and join conservatives with a solution and saves jobs and stops the president, who is stuck on his failed policies, and destroying jobs. god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11
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and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. kucinich: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. kucinich: first, raise the debt ceiling until december 31, 2012, without it being contingent on cuts to social security, medicare, medicaid, or cuts in taxes or cuts in spending. the attempt to resolve all these issues at once as a moment of reckoning arise was not a good idea. it guarantees that the people we were sent here to represent will lose. either in the details of a rushed grand bargain or to the consequences of debaltimore. take the debate to the american people in the next election. ask the american people if they want cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid, increase in taxes what kind of cuts in spending, what kind of jobs programs. for those who say that's what we were sent here to do, claim your victory. you come here and you changed the terms of debate but you're losing debate if america defaults. you will if you bring this debate in every district in the
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2012 election. and when you go home people will thank you for being able to focus america's attention on these fiscal issues. but you may be surprised to learn that the american people does not want us to burn down the house in an argument over the height of the ceiling. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. s been said the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a small step. today with the looming debt of over $14.2 trillion, we need to take dramatic steps to decrease spending. but we can make a difference by taking small steps as well. mr. stivers: throughout our nation's economic crisis, i heard from constituents who said they want to do more to pay off the national debt. i voluntarily give back $700
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from every paycheck to help pay down the national debt and i want like-minded citizens to do the same. that's why i sponsored the debt contribution act which has a checkoff box on a tax return who wants to donate money to pay down the debt. it ensures that 100% of those proceeds are used to pay down the national debt and it makes sure it's still a tax deductible contribution, which it has been since 1964. so with a national debt of over $14.2 trillion, we won't be running a surplus anytime soon but we can allow patriotic americans who want to volunteer to give money to pay down the national debt to do that and i hope my colleagues will do that to support and get passed the debt contribution act. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: thank you, mr.
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speaker. i rise to recognize kids first in pawtucket, rhode island, an exemplary community outreach. kids first is the recipient of the john h. chafee leadership award for for the school lunch program, that has wellness programs to every single school district in rhode island. their strong partnership with nutritionists, dietitians, chefs has brought important nutritional programs into schools and has benefited local produce growers since 1999. kids first is wain-win for farmers and students, providing farmers with a reliable market and schoolchildren with 200,000 pounds of fresh local groceries. i congratulate kids first to environmental conservation and growing rhode island's local economy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend -- address the house for one minute and to revise and extend.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mckeon: i wish to tell my colleagues about senator reid's peril proposals, specifically as it relates to national defense. the reid plan would cut defense, including funds to maintain the reliability of our nuclear weapons and strategic delivery vehicles that represent our deterrent for both ourselves and our allies. because the obama administration has reduced our strategic forces to the lowest level in decades, the health of our deterrent must be a top national security priority. prior to the ratification of the new start treaty, the president commended the fund of a whole host of modernization vehicles, supported by a bipartisan and bicameral basis. the house also passed language in the fiscal year 2012 defense bill to ensure the president
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makes good on these commitments. we cannot allow a proposal like senator reid's to jeopardize the reliability and security of our strategic deterrent. we must continue to maintain our investment in our security, stability and peace, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, we must not forget we are here to represent the people of this great nation. in a recent poll, two to one said that the reason why we are in this crisis is because of the policies of president bush. so let's look at these policies because that's the best way to understand why we are in this crisis. you cannot wage two wars and give tax cuts at the same time. let's not also forget that president bush -- president
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clinton by many reports left a $5 trillion surplus and president bush left a $5 trillion deficit. $10 trillion. i ask you, if you believe that these tax cuts are so necessary for the economic growth of this nation, then what happened for these 10 years? why aren't we facing a booming economy versus just avoiding another great depression? mr. speaker, it seems like you're dreaming while the rest of us are living one of the worst nightmares we can possibly imagine. mr. speaker, wake up. please, wake up. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? mr. polis: i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. polis: mr. speaker, the speaker of this chamber has a choice to make with 3 1/2 days
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remaining until we risk default on our debt and what does that mean for you? it means higher variable rates for your mortgages, it means more of our taxpayer money will have to go to interest to service these existing debt. at this point the speaker of this body has a choice. to be sure he has a negotiation ahead of him. he has compromise ahead of him. he can choose to negotiate and compromise with only those in his own party, further to the right than he is in this very body or to compromise to come to a deal with those that matter and can actually pass something in the law to prevent the default. namely, i call upon the speaker to continue negotiations with the president of the united states and the senate of the united states to resolve this self-caused crisis within 3 1/2 days and avert a faith that will cost middle class families
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and taxpayers trillions of dollars. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from maryland rise? ms. edwards: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. edwards: eight months ago we stood on the floor of this house, swore to uphold the constitution of the united states, even read the constitution here on the floor of the united states. we read article 14 -- section 4, the validity of the public debt of the united states authorized by law including debts incurred for payments of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing inns surrex or rebellion. we read that and here on the brink of default because the republican majority has failed to compromise. the republican majority has said we won't do what we've done for every other president which is give them a clean debt ceiling vote on this floor so he can pay the debts and obligations of the united states. so the seniors are waiting on wednesday of next week to know
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whether they will get their social security benefits, military service members are waiting for their checks. retirees are waiting for their checks. and we stand here on the brink of default. i would ask the president of the united states to exercise whatever authority is necessary to pay our seniors social security benefits and to meet the obligations of the united states. it's time for us to do our job. it's time for this majority to compromise. it's time for us to lead. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess subject to the call of the chair.
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>> we will have live coverage for you when to the president speaks on c-span guest discussions are continui on capitol hill on the debt ceiling behind closed doors. we have our cameras on capitol hill. we will be waiting for any comments after that conference meeting. you can follow that online at c- span.org. bopp husak, "the hill's" managing editor, was covering this story is well into the night. he joined us with details on the the debate. day left before default is their story this morning. what was originally described as a brief snafu has turned into a rebuke of house republican leaders who were unable on thursday to round up the minimum number of folks to pass speaker
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john boehner's bill. the bill was delayed at the last minute when he and his leadership team finally faced the harsh reality despite a swing of momentum in their direction over the previous 24 hours they didn't have the vote. and "the daily caller," after a long night in the capitol, the bill put off until friday this evening the u.s. capitol building was engulfed in a wave of summer time heat outside and political heat inside. in the proceeding hours after the 10:30 call that there would be no vote that night, as things were tense as boehner and kevin mccarthy, responsible for counting the votes, tried desperately to have the count in their favor. as i mentioned, the editor of "the capitol hill" will be with us. bob, your reporters were able to put together some of the pieces. what can you tell us?
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>> i think, susan, yesterday was probably the most dramatic day in the house since the health care vote in 2010. the push was on for the votes. it's tough reporting because you've got to figure out whether they have the votes and, of course, throughout the day house republican leaders expressed confidence. but any house majority, whether it's democratic or republican, will always express with confidence when it's a tight vote. so we're trying to figure out do have the votes? on our website, we were compiling members that were no, republican members no, undecided, leaning no, leaning yes. and they could only afford 23 defections if all democrats vote no as they are expected to do. they right now have 25. most of them firm nos and a couple lean nos. then you have nearly three dozen undecided members. and a lot of them told us they were still undecided yesterday. so house republican leaders, they weren't really close to getting it. i think if they were one or two votes away, there was some last night that they
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were only one or two votes away, they would have brought it to the floor. they have some serious work to do. the next step is unclear at this moment. >> beginning to suggest that the senate might take up legislation and have that be a vehicle that goes to the house. the rule in the constitution that money bills should be merging from the house of representatives, how could that work structurally? >> that is true that the tax revenue bills technically should start in the house. but what we've seen in congress is that there are ways around that. you can take a bill and replace it. you can take a house bill that's not even related, make it a shelved bill. the senate can amend it and send it back. where there's a will there's a way in congress. it's just getting the will on both sides of the aisle this development yesterday, as far as the house republicans pulling this bill, not voting on it. we'll see if there's a vote today. there will be a vote last night. leverage. john boehner has lost some
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serious leverage unless he can pass this bill. a defining moment in his speakership, house republican leader just frustrated with their members. eric captainer earlier this -- eric kanner earlier this week told his colleagues to stop whining about the boehner bill. they didn't unify around it, though. it's going to be fascinating to see how they seek to change it in the coming hours. >> joining us from inside one of the house of representatives office buildings. it's just 7:05 on the east coast, and there's still going to be lots of activity behind him. we thought having him there this morning would give you some of the sense and flavor and temperature on capitol hill. we'd like to know what your reaction is to yesterday. we'll learn more about the behind the scenes and the sticking points and what all of this means for you the taxpayer, for the capital financial markets throughout this hour. let's begin with the telephone calls from hernando,
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mississippi. good morning, larry. caller: good morning. the government cannot control the tea party. and bush, his two wars, and medicare, the tea party -- ran up $5 trillion in debt and obama spent $1.2 trillion trying to mess, and they want to blame everything on him. cannot control the tea party. these people will destroy the country. there's no doubt about it. host: next is a comment from a caller in royal oak, michigan. good morning, eugene. turn down your tv volume. go ahead. sorry. we're going to move on. if you're calm calling in this morning, be ready with that mute button. arkansas. eddie, an independent. caller: hi, susan. i understand you're going to have joe walsh on later. he's one of the tea bag nuts.
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he's lecturing the country to pay their debts and do the right thing and he's being sued by his ex-wife for over $100,000 for nonpayment in child support. host: thank you very much. reading on his own website that essaying it's a seven-year-old story that he thinks is being brought up for political purposes right now. we'll talk to the congressman as we learn his position on why he is so far a no on what he's heard with the legislation. he'll be on one hour from now. next is mccray, arkansas. barry is a democrat. go ahead, please. caller: yes. i want to know what gives the right for the united states government to mess with the that we paid in as taxpayers to social security, medicaid, and medicare, and all do is giveo
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themselves raises. but the people that depend on what they paid in, and everything, they give big tax breaks for the oil companies. the big manufacturers. they're taking jobs away from us. and why they think it is best to do that. i need an answer to that, because i work 40 years of my life, and now i'm disabled. and now they're talking about cutting everything. i just don't think -- i've even put my life on the line for this country, vietnam. why they think it's the right thing to do. host: thanks for your call. next up, a comment from hewitt, texas. tony, a republican there. good morning. caller: good morning. how's everybody there this morning? host: it's a little hot both temperature-wise and internally i think here.
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caller: yeah. you know, we deal with a few facts here this morning. that cut, cap and balance that was passed did two things that everybody just is totally bent out of shape about. one of which is that it would raise the debt ceiling, and we would give that community organizer everything he wanted. it also, at the time, would say that the united states would even have a downgrade in its debt rating. and what do we do? well, you got the president that has no plan. got harry reid out there. and what does he do with that bill that will allow all of that to happen? he tables it. now, what damn fool is going to negotiate with a president that has lied from the jump? you look at obama care. he said you can keep your policy
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if you want it. well, on page 15, it clearly stated the opposite. not going to cover abortion. well, that happened. and we're not going to cover illegals. that's all he said to the joint congress there. and old good old joe wilson pointed out his lie. host: tony, there's a lot of people waiting, so we need to wrap up here. your point? the mainstream press is blaming all of this on the republicans, and all you guys do look as to who's sitting in the white house and who's over there in the senate. you, sir.k next unity, maine. that's an interesting title of a town. would you like to send a little unity to washington? what are you thinking about all of this? caller: well, i'm thinking that the only way that this is going to be resolved, it's going to be over the years that the american
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people vote out of the house and congress. everyone who's stalemate in this whole situation. i think it's time for a big change. host: what direction are you suggesting the change to be? where are you on all of this the u.s. debt?t >> i believe that the republicans, if they put as much effort into helping obama as they are just trying to get rid of him, i think this would be resolved by now. but they're just stalemating the whole thing. host: thank you for your call from unity, maine. there's a number of pieces this morning that tell you what life is like for those undecided members. here's one. the votes weren't there. along with more than a dozen other lawmakers talked in a room in the capitol for more than three hours. at the end of that, it was still a no. brooks could not be reached for comment. close to 10:30 p.m. party leaders agreed to withdraw their
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bill and make unspecified changes in the hopes of bringing in more votes. they suggest in the paper after a 9:30 meeting in the house of republicans. and "new york times," inside of the capitol yesterday, in the waning hours of the bill, appeared to turn against the speaker. some key lawmakers, a member of the leadership team, said he would join the other freshmen in his state and wrote knox and they say in a parallel reverse -- on twitter -- freedom works began to send messages pressuring members urging people at home to call members and tell them to vote. no and former governor sarah palin also got in the game posting a warning about contested primaries on facebook. let's go back to bob cusack on capitol hill and talk about the pressure on these undecided members both from other members of their conference and from
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constituents group outside. guest: it's just enormous as far as republican leaders trying to get members from no to yes, and how you do it with different members, or different method yolings. -- method ologies. it's a very different house. in the last congress and the previous congresses with speaker hastert, tom delay, very much top down where the orders came from the top and members by and large settled in line this situation very different. a huge freshman class of 87 members. enormous pressure on these. and you can see it on the members last night as they were coming out of the speaker's suite, trying to make the case -- leaders were trying to get them to say yes, that, listen, if you don't vote yes, what's going to end up on obama's desk is going to be a watered down, more democratic bill. but that argument just wasn't resonating. and it was frustrating house republican leaders to no end. and as far as the tea party and
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primaries, that is a huge factor up here. i was talking to a member last night, and that is what people are thinking. that if they vote yes, they are going to be inviting a primary. and not just for freshmen. other members concerned about that as well. bob cusack, let's look at some tactics of policy. you reported and many papers are picking up that one sticking point was over pell grants which are student loans for college students. tell us more about what you're finding is at the heart of the disagreement. >> that's only one of them. it was indicated that that's not a big issue for him, that the program whether they change that or pair back or take it out, he's still going to be a no. andy harris, republican from maryland, freshman member, was quoted as having in one of our stories a problem with those provisions. now, if you get maybe three or four votes, you generate some momentum by changing it that's what house republican leaders
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were asking them. how can we get you to yes. what do you want changed? and a lot of the members just say, hey, we've already passed our bill. that was a cup, cat -- cut, cap and balance bill. john boehner made the decision that he was going to move forward with a more centrist bill. he says adheres to the cut, cap and balance. and the members were saying, no, it doesn't adhere to that. and freedom works was playing a huge role in that where they're saying absolutely it violates the cut, cap, and balance pledge that a lot of members signed earlier this year. host: let's take a look at a few facebook comments. you can join the conversation on facebook at facebook/com/c-span. here is the comment from elizabeth tyranny who writes --
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host: back to phone calls. next is ohio. brian is a democrat there. good morning, brian. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: great, sir. thanks. caller: i just have three simple solutions that we could have or do that wouldn't have to raise the debt ceiling. one is the iraq and afghanistan war, it's george bush's war. i think what we need to do is go after george bush, dick cheney, and donald rumsfeld and let them pay for their wars that they got us into. the second thing is that we need to stop sending our money overseas and start helping our own people. the third thing is that all of these senators and congressmen that are making making $170,000 a year and making these poor choices, if
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they would be making $40,000, $50,000 a year, every one of their dumb decisions that they make wouldn't only affect us but it would affect them. host: thank you for your call. next up is royal oak, michigan. this is eugene a republican. good morning. caller: yes. i am calling in regards -- i'm very disappointed in boehner. i was going to send him some money, but now i'm not. i gave allen west some money, and i'm getting disappointed in him for him caving. i can't understand why the mainstream press insists on sending the republicans -- saying the republicans are at fault all the time when they try to do something. host: thanks for the call. this debt plan, bob cusack, tied to the speaker. you mentioned earlier the test for his speakership. i have a number of article that suggest his speakership is object the line -- on the line with this. comment more about what
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you're hearing from members about that? guest: yes, yesterday was the biggest day in john boehner's speakership. he's put this bill on the line, his speakership on the line. he was going to members and saying i need you on this. this is a key -- it quickly has become a referendum on boehner. though some say it's not because they have a disagreement on policy. but it's certainly being viewed that way. if this bill can't pass the house, we know that the senate is lykely going to table this, that the votes are not there for this bill in the senate. but politically, if the speaker can't pass this house, that will handicap his speakership, many say, for the remainder of the congress. now, if he can somehow pull this bill back, modify it and pass it, it would be a big development and a huge win for speaker boehner. but right now it doesn't look has the votes. i don't know if they can change it to get these votes, because a lot of those 25 no/firm no
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votes -- they can't be subwayed. you can't convince ron paul, michelle bachmann. host: those unlisted, the 33 would put them over the top, if they could get the majority of those? guest: that's the challenge now. they have to make changes. not only do they have to convince at least two who are no votes right now to go to yeses, they've got to get all of those undecideds to yes. it is a huge, huge task. host: and in the process not losing any of the yeses they already have. guest: exactly right. so an enormous challenge for the whip team led by kevin mccarthy. i don't know how they get there. throughout the day yesterday at times they picked up momentum. but then a big development, as you mentioned, was tim scott on fox news saying that he was the no, along with other south carolina republicans. i tell you, there's some
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frustration from house republicans with senator demint and senator lindsey graham because they came out against this bill. and a lot of the house republicans from south carolina, including tim scott, have followed their lead. a huge influence from demint and graham, and house republicans have said they have made their job a lot tougher. host: i'm going to ask the audience to bare with me. i'm not going to do it all at once. but i want to go through the 33 republicans who are undecided, who this debate really hinges on. let me go through them in groups. this is the hill's list, undecided, still reviewing, or unclear. joe barton, long-term member of texas, dennis of michigan, is says the speaker made the case to brooks personally. dan burton, indiana. quico canseco of texas. chip crayaack of minnesota. john dunn can of tennessee,
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trent franks of arizona. scott desjarlais of tennessee. morgan griffith of virginia. jamie herrera beutler of washington, randy hullgren of illinois. there and go back to our callers. caller: i would just like to say that this is just sickening watching all of this. there has to be independence out there that are not going to be to either party or to any kind of politics. let's face it. this is just political posturing for the 2012 elections. that's all it is. it's cut-and-dried. as a veteran of the united states of america for 21 years it sickens me. and i hate to say this, but watching these guys and ladies and gentlemen debate over this just makes me unproud to be an american that we can't get something done. it just amazes me. but like i said, the bottom line is this is all political
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posturing for 2012 and the future. and i would love to see some independents come in -- i was a democrat for a long time. i saw on the blue dog side, your second speaker coming up, the congressman -- i was a blue dog democrat. the party wouldn't want to do this. they didn't want to do that. so please, america, contact your representatives and tell them to quit playing politics, and let's get something done. thank you. host: thank you. curtis from georgia. next up is marie, a republican from mississippi. good morning. caller: hello. thank you for taking my call. host: sure thing. totally agree with the gentleman that just phoned. i believe the only way that this ever going to be rectified is if we implement term limits in congress that way they can go up there and do their job. they won't even have to give a thought about whether they're going to be re-elected or not. and also i would like to say
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that our tax system needs to be revamped to where everybody in the united states of america pays some tax. and that would cut out all the loopholes from the rich that we keep hearing about from the democrats. and i would also like to say it would be interesting if you would take a survey of the callers to see who -- or which ones actually have been in the game that would be interesting. i think the democrats would follow obama like the pied piper into the sea no matter what he wanted to do to this country. thank you. host: thanks very much. to get a perspective on this from outside washington, the financial markets, we've got peter coy to join us. he wrote the cover story for "bloomberg business week." here's the cover headline on his piece, "why the debt crisis is even worse than you think." we'll get to that in a second. but, peter, tell us how the
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financial markets, both the credit markets and also the bond markets, are reacting to the debate in washington. guest: i think it's surprising that they're reacting as mildly as they have. if i were a major bond holder and i knew that my bonds were in danger of being repaid, i think i would be even more scared than i am now. so it's a little bit of a marvel. and even some people, you know, in the government are pleasantly surprised by this. i think there's just a biding belief that when it really comes down to the wire, this deal will get done. i hope they're right about that. host: here's an example. "the wall street journal" has a story of a -- let me see, a firm that holds treasury bills that mature august 4. the first to mature after the
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august 2 deadline them write until a few days ago a scenario seemed farfetched, but if gridlock continues in washington many in the market have been scrambling to figure out which debt would be in danger of most defaulting. many look to the bill by mr. travis and others as the top candidate. so those are the unlucky folks who picked the august 4 tea bills way back when. so let me ask you about how this could play out if no deal is reached for corporations. i'm reading a number of stories about how federal level debt is downgraded. it will affect states and municipalities. how will that happen? guest: well, when interest rates rise for federal debt -- and they would rise for federal debt obviously because of the risk of nonpayment. almost all other industries in the economy are tied to the federal treasuries. they call it the spread. so your california bonds are stated as not just their --
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spread versus treasury. just because in practice they tend to move up and down together. the treasury called the risk-free rate. so it will be affected not so by the risk of default ordinarily but just by interest rate moves. what i mean by interest rate moves is the health of the economy, the prospect for and so on. so rather than try to dope it out individually for each security, you just say, well, the treasury represents the risk of inflation not the risk of default. the others all have a default component to it. now suddenly you throw in the risk of default and treasuries and it messes up all of those formulas in general it makes people more nervous about holding any kind of fixed income though. host: so the same spillover effect to the private capital markets? >> there would be some spillover to the private capital markets. because this is unprecedented, we can only speculate about the
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impact. but i would say the more direct effect would be on raising borrowing costs for the federal government because people no longer would be able to trust it the same way. but there's also a way in which treasury bonds function almost like a raw material of deals on wall street. they're a special kind of instrument that can be used as a form of collateral, right? for borrowing money. you borrow money overnight or for longer periods of time. a crucial way that the financial world gets its short-term funding is by lending out treasuries if that becomes messed up because people suddenly don't want to advise them on the old terms, it's going to cause great confusion. >> let me turn from that to the thesis of your cover story. why the debt crisis is even
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worse than you think. it's accompanied by this chart, on the screen, which is is debt deluge. you show what it's talking about and what everyone should be talking about, the fiscal gap. this all about? guest: the fiscal gap is a different way of measuring our problems. everyone focuses on the national debt which, of course is important to focus on. but the national debt is backward looking. it tells you what obligations os are already accumulated. what it doesn't tell you fully is the debt to come or the obligation that we are incurring now based on the way we've created formulas for social security, medicare and medicaid. and if you look at those and you go out into the indefinite future to make sure there's not some kind of problem in the distant horizon, you find that the gap between everything we expect to receive, tax revenue, and everything we expect to spend is $211 trillion stated in
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today's dollars. host: so what does washington do with that? guest: well, what you do is what people have been talking about doing. you've got to tackle the entitlements because that's by far the bulk of the problem. titlements, of course, being social security and medicare. you also have to tackle medicaid. you have to deal with the outlying years. you have to create formulas that will be sustainable. and you have to figure out how to do something about health care costs which are rising at a rate that is unsustainable, presumably by changing the incentives. you know, this has been said a lot on c-span and elsewhere. but it's not just talk. it's like looking at the long-term future, say if that doesn't happen, things just kind of blow up. even $212 trillion wouldn't be
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enough. host: one thing to note, as you're saying social security is part of the solution, in this illustration you have here social security -- one side is revenue -- it shows social security in a surplus. right? in receipts, $132 trillion versus $110 trillion. aim correct? guest: yeah. host: so people might argue it's really solvent for now, why should that be part of the discussion? guest: that's a good point. the it is numbers -- the trust funds for social security is not the crucial issue. that's why people say medicare is where the bigger problem is. but social security is probably
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going to have to have a higher retirement age. but, you know, funny thing. i think that that's a good point you're making there. i'm going to go back and look at that more closely for next week's story. host: well, thank you very much for outlining the concerns of the financial market which you say right now are more mooted than you -- muted than you expected and for giving us background on your cover story. washington continues to find a solution for the current debt ceiling. peter coy from "bloomberg business week." thank you for your time. guest: thank you. host: back to our telephone calls. vero independent there. caller: thank you for taking my call. bob could answer this question for me. why won't they ever answer the question, the money this country to other countries, why won't they talk about cutting that? host: bob cusack? guest: certainly that's more of an issue than it has been in the
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past. a lot of lawmakers are for scaling back foreign aid. most notably ron paul, who is running for president again. the percentages of foreign aid that goes abroad is, as politicians say, smaller than you would think. i don't know the exact number. but polls have shown it's nearly 25% of the budget. it's far less than that. but there is a move to cut some of that funding. most interestingly enough on pakistan, because of the tension in u.s.-pakistani relations in the wake of the death of osama bin laden so that has been on the table. but as far as a percentage of what goes out, it's relatively small. the interesting thing, though, here, is that there is -- have put tax increases on the table. they've put some defense spending on the table. you didn't see that years ago, that they were willing to cut defense. so that's significant. but foreign aid is something
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that has been discussed of pairing back. host: "the daily caller" has a story about ron paul, as our caller and also -- ron paul calls on supporters to lobby leadership for no compromise. ron paul blasted top house republicans for lack of called on supporters to pressure top g.o.p. officials not to cut a back room deal with president obama. in an e-mail sent thursday evening to supporters of his presidential bid he couraged backers to help republican leaders make up their mind. the republican leadership is us is exceptible -- susceptible to our pressures. i need help to show some backbone and say no to any business is usual status quo to raise the debt ceiling. that's ron paul today. a few e-mails from viewers.
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host: next phone call from detroit. joseph, republican. good morning. caller: thank you. the first thing i'm shocked about is the only place they can kind places for reduction of expenses is the social security. the whole budget has to have millions of things in there for cutting back costs and they keep picking on social security. that's -- i have no idea, trying to figure that out that just aggravates me. and then the other thing is, nobody seems to talk about costs. that tuition costs go up, food costs go up. nobody seems to say we got to stop that and reduce the costs. costs for my medicare, if it didn't go up, i wouldn't have to worry about the costs of my medical expenses. i wouldn't have to worry about my costs going you up in
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medicare. but nobody seems to look at the costs. i got bills that were $3,800 for a head c.t. exam. $3,800 for a c.t. exam that took 10 minutes? i can't believe that's what we're spending our money on. i'm upset about the way the government is going on. and i really do not think the republicans should cancel what they're doing. they should stick to their guns. host: thank you. next up, celine, a democrat from ohio. what's your point of view? caller: good morning. just give me a minute. first of all -- ok, first of all -- i mean, the republicans that we have in right now, in the past, no matter what, it seems like we always work together no matter what. and this would have never happened like this, what's going on right now. and i don't believe no matter what the speaker comes up with,
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any ideas, not just this, but the tea party will never agree with anything that he comes up with. i don't understand why they are not worried about no revenue coming in. that's something that we need. also, i need to ask the i want his comment on this. ok. i was listening to the news business around the world. and a lot of these countries are really angry. i mean -- and if we think right now that it's -- nothing's going to really happen, everybody's going to agree, and it's all going to turn out fine, from the way they talk it's not going to be that way. and they also talk like america has already slowed down to a
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a.a.a. rating. like i said, i just wish they could get together. but i don't think it's going to happen. host: thank you. let's go with that point. bob cusack, what do you have for celine? guest: always anger towards the united states. there has been for decades. republicans note that that anger has not subsided now that george w. bush is out of office and president obama -- if you look at polls in pakistan, other countries, a lot of of disrust of the u.s. she also mentioned the a.a.a. rating. that's the big deal here. because one way or another congress is going to get something to president obama's desk. but the possibility of a downgrade is very significant. and that's what people say. will a bill not only raise the debt ceiling and avoid any of default, but will it avoid a downgrade from the federal rating agencies?
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i talked to a couple of people, investment types who closely track this thing. they say they don't know how the u.s. can't be downgraded. so that's going to be something to watch. the rating agents have enormous power. treasury department officials have been lobbying them only a range of issues, but specifically on this one. most recently saying don't downgrade that could also set off even more panic up here on capitol hill. host: i want to show you the whip notice. that's kevin mccarthy for the republicans. last night at 10:30 he put this notice out. members were advised there would be no more votes. but here's the phrase. any expected absences tomorrow and this weekend should be reported to the whip's office. that suggests, bob cusack, how every vote will count if they get it to the floor today. guest: that's right. we were trying also to attach if anyone was going to miss the vote other than obviously gabry
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yell giverred -- gabrielle giffords who is still recovering. still, the magic number is 216 if all the members except for those two are around. it's interesting for kevin mccarthy. he is the whip. he also recruited most of the freshmen that are here now. so he has relationships with these freshmen. but some of them are just firm nos. they're not going going along we argue friewment mccarthy -- argument from mccarthy. it's not only freshmen. it's some members who have been around a long time, such as ron paul and others. host: one twitter comment. he writes, government owes funds that were borrowed. worthless i.o.u.'s in the place of the people's donations.
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they're trying to get out of paying them. and to e-mail comments. this is a good example of how chaos emerges from the smallest places. it is a real side of the fracturing and destruction of the republican party which will be an ongoing but subtle process moving forward. the reasons for this are too complex for this forum, but in short it is the result of checks and balances in the system that are not normally visible. and this very brief e-mail, anonymous. tough, i think our leaders are adibblinged to stupidity -- adigitted to stupidity. and this from this morning's new york daily news. voter approval of congress falls to a new low. just 6% believe elected officials are doing a good job. let's look. there's the 6%. 31% say their rep is the best for the job. 61% say congress is doing a bad job. 85% of those polled say members
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are most interested in their own career. and 46% of voters believe most of congress is corrupt. bob cusack, what do you think of these numbers? guest: those numbers are especially low. congressional ratings are always low. but those have to be a concern for any incumbent in congress. there's so much frustration right now. congress has the spotlight. congress has been the story this year and on this debt limit. and john boehner and mitch mcconnell have been trying to make the white house look less relevant. that's why john boehner earlier this week said we're going to walk away from the white house, get a deal in the congress seaned and send it pot president. he's had trouble on that it raises the possibility of primaries. remember, this is on both levels. there are democrats on capitol hill very frustrated with president obama that he put entitlement spending on the table, that he was willing to raise and is willing to raise the he will joint age for --
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eligibility age for medicare over a long period of time. that has stunned democrats. there's also a possibility of primaries on the leave. when you have those low congressional approval ratings, there's going to be challenges on both sides of the aisle. host: the "daily news" has that poll. let me show you their cover. host: back to your telephone calls. robert, republican. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? it's nice to talk with you. bin laden says the way to destroy america is economically. obama's spending in the last three years, trillions each year, would make him very happy. the debt limit is a very fine balanced budget amendment in itself. i could live with cut, cap and balance. we must not let bin laden or
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obama destroy america economically. thank you. host: thank you for your call, sir. next up, a tweet. boehner's downfall is his refusal to work with dems and trying to refuse a tea party who wants no part of him. next phone call, gary, an independent from new york. good morning. caller: good morning. i'd like to make a comment and then a question to the guy there. host: sure. caller: i'd like to find out -- [indiscernible] people work their butts off all these years. it's handout money. mostly like a family tradition, you know? when kids grow up -- when parents have babies, their kids wind up on welfare, too. and i'd like to find out when
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the checks are going out. welfare gets their raises. that's all i have to say. host: bob cusack? guest: there's a lot of frustration on both the left and right. that's what's pulling, this huge tug of war that congress is going through, like callers like that. some on the right say we go need to pair back all of these entitlements. we can't afford them. others on the left, liberals, democrats, they say, listen, if you look at social security, social security is not a deficit problem. we don't need to change that. we can make some modifications, for waste, fraud and abuse, but that's where it is. you have the moveon. and on one side. and then groups like freedom works on the other side. as far as in the middle -- and that's where this bill will have to be passed, by democrats and republicans in the middle. simpler to the tarp bailout bill in 2008 where the middle came together after, of course, the initial bill failed on the house floor